<img src="https://trc.taboola.com/1321591/log/3/unip?en=page_view" width="0" height="0" style="display:none">
Fact Check Library

Fact Check with Logically.

Download the Free App Today




COVID nasal swab test caused brain fluid to leak from a woman's brain in the U.S.

The COVID swab test prodded a woman's undiagnosed skull defect, which became wider, and caused brain fluid to leak out.

The COVID swab test prodded a woman's undiagnosed skull defect, which became wider, and caused brain fluid to leak out.A case study published in a respected medical journal, JAMA Otolaryngol Head & Neck Surgery, states that a 40-year-old woman in Iowa, United States, had a nasal swab testing COVID before undergoing an elective hernia operation. Shortly after the test, fluid began leaking from her nose. She also developed symptoms including a headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, and aversion to light. The doctors at the University of Iowa hospital, where she was being treated, identified the fluid as cerebrospinal fluid – a fluid found in the protective lining around the brain and spine. The woman had been treated years earlier for intracranial hypertension - meaning that the pressure from the cerebrospinal fluid that protects and nourishes the brain was too high. She had also had nasal polyp surgery two decades ago. When old scans were reviewed, doctors observed a defect at the skull base, making the brain's lining protrude into the nose where it was susceptible to rupture. Later, the University of Iowa doctors noted that the swab alone didn’t cause the leak. The woman had an undiagnosed skull defect, and when the swab prodded the small opening, it became wide enough for brain fluid to seep out.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

Have a question or correction on one of our fact-checks?

If you think a claim has been misjudged or requires correction, please send us evidence to support your error claim. We will revisit our evidence and verdict and conduct additional research to verify new information.

Fact Check of the Day


397 children were diagnosed with heart inflammation after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in U.S.