TV anchor reveals he has COVID-19, shares his experience

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – KETK’s Neal Barton revealed that he has COVID-19 and wants to share his personal experience with others on battling the virus.

Over the past four months, the CDC expanded its list of COVID-19 symptoms with ones similar to Barton’s.

Barton said it started when he was mowing the yard on July 4 and felt as if he had a summertime cold. He decided he would reach out to a doctor on Monday.

“All the characteristics were like a summertime cold. That weekend July 4th, I had some congestion in my throat and it quickly moved into my chest. When that happens that means a summer cold,” he explained.

But the symptoms continued and the moment he couldn’t taste an energy drink, he went to get tested.

When visiting the doctor, Barton was able to get a rapid test and received his results within three hours. At the time he found out he tested positive, Barton learned he also contracted pneumonia over the week.

After learning of his diagnosis, Barton noticed his wife started exhibiting symptoms. When visiting the doctor, he was told that if one spouse has it then the other could assume the same.

Now they are both recovering during a 14-day quarantine.

While he says the prescribed medications have been helping, there are times when he wakes up with chills and it takes several hours to recover.

Dr. Mark Anderson, the Chief Medical Officer at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances, said acute symptoms are common.

“It’s pretty typical for the low-acute symptoms that we’re seeing. We see a wide variety of symptoms from a cough or cold or even patients just reporting this is potentially allergies,” said he said.

While many exhibiting symptoms are left wondering if they have the virus, Dr. Anderson says it is still dangerous for others and following CDC guidelines is best practice.

“Don’t be afraid to go and get tested,” said Barton.

Over the past two weeks, Texas has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases among younger individuals and hospitalizations leading Gov. Greg Abbott to roll back on re-opening the economy and mandating masks for people in public.

“We continue to see a surge in our hospitals as well as our outpatient settings,” he said. “We’ve doubled the number of patients that we have in the hospital in the last two weeks.”

There is no vaccine for COVID-19, but Remdesivir is an anti-viral drug proven successful in treating hospitalized patients battling the virus. It has been allocated from the federal government and CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances is one of the few hospitals in the region to receive several cases.

“We continue to get that supply. That’s appropriate for our hospitilized patients,” Dr. Anderson said.

Blood plasma from recovered patients has also shown to be successful when treating current patients. Dr. Anderson said the plasma is used on hospitalized patients as it provides a source of antibodies to fight the virus and keep it from spreading.

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