China Recommends ‘Anal Swab’ COVID-19 Tests, Claims They’re More Accurate Than Throat Swabs

Health authorities in China have deployed anal swab tests to detect covid-19, claim are more accurate than nose or throat coronavirus swabs.

Getty Image / Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The drive-through coronavirus test centers are likely backed up in China. That’s because China introduced a new method of COVID-19 testing that the country claims is more accurate than throat swabs, and boy it’s a doozy. To test for a respiratory disease, China is recommending that a swab be inserted into people’s rectums. Is China trolling us?

China’s state-controlled media claims that the country is getting behind a new coronavirus test method. If you thought the nose swabs were a pain in the ass, wait til the anal swab tests come to the United States.

According to a Washington Post report (No, this was not from an article in The Onion), a stool sample is collected, but if fecal matter is not available, a technician inserts a “cotton-tipped stick three to five centimeters (one to two inches) into the rectum.” This is not going to sit well with many butthurt people.


Li Tongzeng, a deputy director in charge of infectious disease at Beijing You’an Hospital, alleges that anal swab tests decrease the amount of false-negative results among high-risk patients. Tongzeng claims that the anal swabs testing “can increase the detection rate of infected people” because traces of coronavirus linger longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract. Is this a motivation tactic to get people to wear face masks? Because it certainly isn’t going to increase COVID-19 testing.

“If we add anal swab testing, it can raise our rate of identifying infected patients,” Tongzeng said on state-run television. “But of course considering that collecting anal swabs is not as convenient as throat swabs, at the moment only key groups such as those in quarantine receive both.”

So that means that throat and nose swabs are still the No. 1 COVID-19 test and anal swabs are the No. 2 test.

I’m going to request that the technician at least buy me dinner before administering the test, I have morals.

Yang Zhanqiu, a pathologist at Wuhan University, attempted to get to the bottom of the anal tests. He told China’s Global Times that recommending anal tests is stretching it. “There have been cases concerning the coronavirus testing positive in a patient’s excrement, but no evidence has suggested it had been transmitted through one’s digestive system,” Zhanqiu said, preferring the throat/nose swab. That’s one way to test if your sense of smell was lost or not.

The government is going to stick it to the common man once again. Nose swabs might make your day, but anal swabs will make your whole week.