Does Sampling Swabs Affect Human Health?

■Our reporter Li Chenyan

Nucleic acid testing is an important and scientific and effective means for early detection of epidemics. Some citizens have questions: Does the sampling swab affect human health? In this regard, medical experts said that sampling swabs are medical devices, and non-toxic and harmless are the most basic standards. It is nonsense to say that sampling swabs contain harmful substances or cause harm to the body.

“Whether it is an oropharyngeal swab or a nasopharyngeal swab, the products are non-toxic and reliable.” Li Jinghua, deputy chief technician of the Laboratory Department of Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, said that the sampling swab looks like a cotton swab, and its material is mainly It is nylon fiber or polyester, which is similar to the toothbrush bristles in our daily life.

Specifically, the sampling personnel are like brushing their teeth when sampling. After the sampling swab collects cells in the posterior pharyngeal wall, they are stored in the sampling tube. Since the swab is made of nylon fibers, the cells are not easily adsorbed on the cotton tip, and are more easily eluted into the preservation solution, and it is not easy to miss detection during laboratory testing, which can improve the detection efficiency and accuracy.

Regarding its safety, Li Jinghua said that sampling swabs are medical devices and have certain access thresholds. The production environment and requirements are very strict, and there are also relevant standards for quality supervision. Harm is the most basic criterion.

For some citizens who may experience nausea or throat irritation after sampling, Li Jinghua explained that in order to ensure the accuracy of sampling, the sampling personnel will wipe the back wall of the pharynx 3-5 times. , After being stimulated, you will feel a foreign body sensation, itching or vomiting, which is related to individual differences. In addition, the soft palate of some people will be combined with the base of the tongue. To ensure the quality of sampling, the sampling personnel will probe in to find the posterior pharyngeal wall and tonsils. At this time, the stimulation response may be more intense. However, once the sampling is completed, this discomfort will be relieved quickly.

The Shanghai CDC once again emphasized the key points of nucleic acid sampling: citizens should wear masks in a standardized manner when sampling, keep a distance of more than 2 meters from the front, back, left and right, and avoid face-to-face conversations between neighbors. After the person in front has checked and left, then step into the detection area. It is best to stand and take samples, put away your personal items such as mobile phones, etc., to avoid transmission through surface contact. After the sampling personnel take out the sampling swab, take off the mask. Wear a mask immediately after sampling and leave the testing area quickly. Do not touch your eyes, mouth, nose, etc. with your hands, and do not touch your face. Disease control experts reminded that if you have a sore throat after sampling, you should stay away from the crowd before handling it, and do not spit anywhere. When you get home, wash your hands immediately, then discard the mask and practice hand hygiene again.