Coronavirus swab test went so far up woman's nose it caused her brain to leak

Emily Lawford
·1-min read
AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

A coronavirus swab test went so far up a woman’s nose that it caused her to brain leak.

The woman, in her forties, was tested for coronavirus before a hernia operation.

Shortly after the surgery, she developed a headache, runny nose, vomiting, a stiff neck, and a metallic taste in her mouth.

When told a doctor of these symptoms, she was referred to referred to the University of Iowa Hospitals, where doctors discovered a mass in the middle of her right nasal cavity.

After the doctors had drained the mass, they found that it contained a protein in cerebrospinal fluid, which is found in the brain and spine.

The woman was admitted to the hospital for endoscopic surgical repair.

Doctors believe that this is the first case of its kind.

The team, led by Dr Christopher Blake Sullivan, wrote in their report published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery: “Complications associated with nasal swab testing are not well characterised. We describe the first case of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak after nasal testing for COVID-19, to our knowledge.

The nasal swab antigen test is the most common method to detect Covid-19 infection.

The NHS said: “This test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. It checks if you have the virus now.

“You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.”

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