ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – It’s WesTex Wednesday and while we can’t have Dr. Beck live in our studio, he is still dedicated to keeping you informed about the latest information on the coronavirus.
One question many people are asking is the risk of having close contact with animals. Dr. Beck tells us whether domestic pets like cats and dogs are able to contract the disease themselves and spread it to other humans.
“Animals cannot transmit the virus from themselves to humans. The only way that can happen is if someone coughed on the animal, the virus gets on their coat, and then someone touched the animal, and then touched their face or nose…Now animals can get certain strains of the virus. In other words they can get sick with it but they cannot transmit it to a human.”
So, even though your pet won’t get you sick, you still want to wash your hands after any contact in case that virus does get caught on their coat.
Dr. Beck and all of the health care providers at WesTex Urgent Care are dedicated to fighting this pandemic and they’re now offering testing at two of their locations.
“We are doing testing at our office in Odessa which is 1941 E. 37th Street and also our North Midland location which is 3401 Greenbriar. Now in order to get scheduled for testing, we are asking that you schedule a virtual visit initially and you can have a face to face conversation with a health care provider and we can make the determination whether or not you need to be tested for the coronavirus.”
Dr. Beck says you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own car for that test, you will administer it yourself.
“Now, the testing is done car side. You do not come in to the office when you get tested. We go to your car side, give you the specimen, you swab yourself, and then you put it in the bag and hand it back to us and we send it off for testing.”
Another question was how the testing is done and whether it’s as invasive as past flu tests so Dr. Beck wanted to explain the process.
“Just gently insert the swab into the nose, circle it around a couple of times…Some of the older flu tests did require you to really go up in there and get mucus on the swab, that’s not needed for the newer testing.”
He also talked about the importance of self isolating if you are showing symptoms. According to Dr. Beck, some people might test negative even though they’re showing symptoms so doctors may recommend that they self quarantine and then come back a few days later to be re-tested. While he believes the nasal swab is the most reliable out-patient procedure, false negatives have occurred and health care providers want to take every precaution to keep the public safe.
“My goal is to help people get back to work when it is safe…I think that we need to be super careful. I think that if there’s any question that you’re ill, you should stay at home and you should stay home until you’re symptom free and if you’re not sure if you have the virus then I think that’s the people that should be tested and the advantage of our testing is that you don’t have to meet the CDC criteria.”
If you have any questions for Dr. Beck, feel free to send them to us and we will share those answers every Wednesday. If you believe you should be tested for the coronavirus, you can virtually contact Dr. Beck or one of the other health care providers at WesTex Urgent Care on their website.