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COVID-19 test: what could cause and how to fix any issues

COVID-19 test: what could cause and how to fix any issues

Although analysis of nasopharyngeal specimens was the most reliable way to detect or rule out coronavirus infection, the its invasive and unpleasant nature caused some accidents during the pandemic. For example, a man suffered from a persistently runny nose that turned out to be one cerebrospinal fluid loss. Initially, she thought it was an allergy, but nine months later a medical consultation revealed the truth. Investigators described the case in JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.

Runny nose for 9 months

After coming into contact with a person with COVID-19, a man in the Czech Republic underwent a nasal swab test to determine if he too had contracted the infection. The test was carried out in March 2020 and fortunately the result was negative for the coronavirus; however, after performing it, the patient felt a discharge from the right nostril.

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The symptom lasted for months, until in December 2020 the man decided to see a doctor who prescribed a CT scan of the skull. The pictures showed one lesion in the lamina cribrosaa bone that separates the nose and the brain, which was causing a cerebrospinal fluid lossa clear substance that circulates through the brain and spinal cord.

Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid increases the risk of meningitis

There The condition is rare and can result from a head injury or brain or breast surgery. However, it has serious consequences in addition to the loss of vital fluid for brain function. Loss of cerebrospinal fluid increases the risk of meningitis, an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

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Interestingly, despite its severity, the leak occurs only on one side of the nose. Additionally, patients can experience it for years before developing serious problems, and their confusion with a runny nose can delay diagnosis.

The COVID-19 test could be the cause of the brain fluid loss

In this case, the CSF leak was probably the COVID-19 test result. As many people know, the sampling is done by inserting a swab deep into the nose, where the nasal cavity connects with the upper part of the throat.

These cases are considered extremely rarei as the tests shouldn’t even cause pain. The risk appears to increase when people have pre-existing conditions. However, this new report appears to be the first case of CSF leak after a COVID-19 test in a patient without a cranial defect.

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Surgery to close the lesion

To solve the problem, doctors have performed surgery to close the wound, after which they prescribed antibiotics to prevent infections. And although he had recovered well, three weeks later the man reported that he did not smell odors from his right nostril.

While remaining a standard, nasopharyngeal tests have been alternated with other types of tests developed to speed up and facilitate the work of healthcare personnel. However, reporting these types of cases is important so that specimen collectors and vulnerable patients take the necessary precautions.