Some who have undergone the COVID nasal swab test felt like they were being stabbed in the brain.
But that’s not actually supposed to happen.In the first and most likely only case of its kind, a 40-year-old woman undergoing a nasal swab test for coronavirus hit a neurological lottery most of us would like to avoid: Brain fluid leaked out of her nose.
Right at the point where the swab meets the back of the throat – the place most likely to have enough virus deposited to sample – there is bone.
Except for this one time, when the woman in question had a condition no one knew about.
The patient, who was not identified, had undergone a routine coronavirus test before elective surgery to repair a hernia, said the authors of a paper detailing the incident in
After the surgery, her nose started running, she got a metallic taste in her mouth, and on came headache, neck stiffness, light sensitivity and vomiting, JAMA reported.
Inserting a scope, doctors at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City first discovered a mass inside the woman’s nose, which led them to discover an opening between two skull bones that created a gap allowing for an encephalocele to form.That’s when “cerebral spinal fluid, brain tissue and the meninges (the membrane that covers the brain) can protrude into a sac-like formation,” according to Children’s Wisconsin hospital.
It’s a rare disorder that normally occurs in infants, not a 40-something woman, as this patient was.
Normally, the coronavirus test causes nothing more than a “five- to eight-second shock of unpleasantness,” Los Angeles ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr. Shawn Nasseri told Business Insider.