Regular COVID tests lead to 'headaches and nosebleeds'

TESTS: Swabs are taken from the throat and nose in COVID-19 tests.
TESTS: Swabs are taken from the throat and nose in COVID-19 tests.

Headaches, bloodnoses and earaches are just some of the symptoms cross-border residents have reported after regular COVID-19 testing.

Ashley Robinson, from Benayeo, has had more than 10 tests so he can continue his work on the South Australia-Victoria border, said it had not been a pleasant experience.

"I haven't had the greatest experience, I have somewhat sensitive sinuses and depending on who it is on the day, it can be pretty ordinary," he said.

"Sometimes they don't always have the correct tests there because they run out so they use the biggest ones - that's an issue that we have to deal with.

"There have been times there where for two to three days afterwards, you will have issues.

"In one scenario, my sinuses got infected, I had to have days off work because you cannot go with a snuffly nose and I had to go get a test again to cover myself for work.

"It is definitely not fun to do. There have been instances where it has been horrifically painful."

Many members of the Cross Border Call out page on Facebook have reported chronic headaches, bad nosebleeds and other symptoms.

A post has urged people to tell their doctor about any symptoms they may have after regular testing.

The post attracted more than 70 comments from people who regularly travel across the border and many had similar story, with some calling the testing "cruel".

Those who wish to enter SA must have the invasive test once every seven days. The test involves having swabs in the back of the throat and two to three centimetres up the nose.

A spokesperson for SA Health said they had not had any reported cases of people being unwell after testing.

"We are aware that throat and nasal swabs can sometimes be uncomfortable, but we have had no reports of headaches, regular nosebleeds, earaches or other health issues after testing," they said.

"In South Australia, the most accurate way to test for COVID-19 is an oral and nasal PCR test. Oral and nasal swab testing (PCR testing) is a highly sensitive, gold-standard method for detecting COVID-19."

On top of the arduous testing requirements cross-border residents are forced to endure, Mr Robinson said Victorian residents had faced abuse and bullying from people in Naracoorte.

"Some people in South Australia have something against Victorian numberplates," he said.

"A lot of elderly people from over here don't feel comfortable to come over there.

"The social side of things, once COVID has passed and the borders open, that won't go away for a while - I don't think that will change for a few years.

"I won't be leaving my car in Naracoorte with Victorian numberplates overnight for no reason.

"A woman had her car 'keyed' and people have been heckled.

"That happened at a supermarket, somewhere you wouldn't think is too threatening. If it had a big sticker on the back that said 'I Love Melbourne', you could understand why it would create some controversy, but if it is a dusty old work ute, surely commonsense would prevail.

"In Mount Gambier, there are people with signs on their vehicles saying 'I'm from Nelson', just because they are scared something is going to happen."

This story Headaches, nosebleeds blamed on COVID testing first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.