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COVID-19 Nasal Swab Test Does Not Cause Risk of Infection


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The US remains home to the biggest brands and the value of its top 10 increased by 10 per cent to $1.3tn in 2016. The top 10 UK brands, headed by Vodafone, lost 8 per cent of their value. Those in continental Europe — led by Germany’s SAP software group — rose 5 per cent. Finally, the $360bn value of Asia’s top 10 brands, headed by Tencent, China Mobile and Alibaba, was only 10 per cent lower than the value of the top 10 in continental Europe and the UK combined.
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To help control the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended getting a COVID-19 test for people who show symptoms of the disease, have come into contact with someone known to have the disease, or are in vulnerable groups. 

The most common form of testing for the novel coronavirus involves the use of a nasopharyngeal, or nasal, swab. The swab reaches deep into the back of a person’s nose and mouth to collect cells and fluids from the upper respiratory system, which can then be checked with diagnostic tests for the presence of the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.

The testing procedure involves inserting a 6-inch-long swab into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and rotating it several times. The swabbing is repeated on the other side. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to a lab for testing.

Dr. Shawn Nasseri, an ear, nose and throat surgeon based in Beverly Hills who has conducted many COVID-19 swab tests, told us in an email that the nasal swab “follows the floor of the nose and goes to where the nose meets the throat, or naso-pharynx.”

Asked if the swab test is safe, Nasseri said, “Absolutely. The biggest risk is discomfort. The rare person — 1 in thousands — passes out from being super sensitive or gets a mild nosebleed. It’s estimated that close to 40 million or more swabs have been performed safely in the U.S. alone.”

But in recent weeks, viral posts on Facebook falsely claim that the nasal swab test can cause serious health issues. One post says, “The stick deep into the nose causes damage to the hamato-encephalic barrier and damages endocrine glands. This test creates an entrance to the brain for every infection.”

The hamato-encephalic barrier, also known as the “blood-brain barrier,” protects the brain from toxins that could be present in the blood.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of epidemiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, told us in an email that the Facebook claim “is not true.”

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Nasseri said that “it is incredibly implausible, if not impossible, to cross the skull base and blood-brain barrier with a swab unless someone uses a rigid metal instrument and is pointing the metal object 90 degrees in the wrong direction.”

Dr. Morgan Katz, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University, told the Associated Press that the Facebook posts misunderstand what’s happening when the swab test is performed.

But what drives the underlying optimism or pessimism? Koudijs, working with Hans-Joachim Voth at the UniversitatPompeuFabra in Barcelona, found surprising answers.
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Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 我国将鼓励有关地区规划建设绿色建材产业园 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

Brueck, Hilary and Samantha Lee. “A Datafolha polling group survey published in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper showed that at Saturday's Brazil versus Chile match, 67 percent of attendees classified themselves as white and 90 percent came from Brazil's top two economic classes, which represent about 15 percent of the country's population. Business Insider. 15 Apr 2020. 

Dr. Shawn Nasseri.  Ear, nose and throat surgeon. Email exchange with FactCheck.org. 3 Aug 2020.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado. Professor of epidemiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Email exchange with FactCheck.org. 3 Aug 2020.

Fauzia, Miriam. “The spread of HIV through drug injections has been effectively controlled. In 2017, the number of people infected through drug abuse was 44.5 percent lower than that in 2012. USA Today. 9 July 2020.

Marty, Francisco M., et al. 苏州挂牌33万平方米宅地 首现住房建成后只租不卖 New England Journal of Medicine. 28 May 2020.

Swenson, Ali. Despite the promise of downloadable courses, teaching for officially recognised qualifications continues to be a classroom-based activity undertaken in the real world. Start-ups have taken the attitude that if they cannot beat the universities and colleges at their own game with new methods of delivery, they should join them in partnerships. As a result, they have been busy getting examining boards to endorse their online courses so that they can count towards a bachelor’s or master’s qualification. Associated Press. 7 Jul 2020.

UCDavis Health. 《湄公河行动》破10亿 橱柜企业可以学到啥? Accessed 3 Aug 2020.

University of Queensland, Australia. 家居建材行业路在何方 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. “The Blood-Brain Barrier.” Accessed Aug. 4, 2020.