Calhoun County doctor shares experience after positive COVID-19 test

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BRUCE, Miss. (WCBI) – A longtime Calhoun County doctor is back on the job, after surviving a bout with COVID- 19.

Dr. Bruce Longest has practiced medicine in Calhoun County for more than 30 years.

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Last month, the well-known family doctor had to take a self-imposed three-week break after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“The cough was brutal, constant, nothing helped, whatever you did, kind of cough,” described Longest.

In mid-March Longest and several friends attended the SEC Basketball Tournament in Nashville, returning early when it was canceled over concerns of COVID-19.

A few days later, Longest started feeling ill.

“I had a low-grade fever, which I never run, and I thought something’s brewing, next morning had a temp of 101, aching, coughing by then, really thought I had the flu, came and got tested for the flu and strep, all that was negative,” said Dr. Longest.

With those symptoms, Longest self-quarantined at his home. Nine days later, the results were in.

“Came back positive,” he said.

The 61-year-old stayed home longer than the required 14 day period because he sees a lot of nursing home patients.

Longest was tested two more times, with negative results, before returning to his office.

There is now a protective plastic curtain around the front office desk, and all employees wear gloves and masks at all times.

He believes once the coronavirus pandemic has passed, there will be long term changes in the medical field.

“I think masks are here to stay in clinical setting and we will be a whole lot more diligent about hand washing, hygiene, cleaning things like we’ve never done before,” Dr. Longest said.

Doctor Longest is sharing his story to encourage people. He said it is important to practice the CDC guidelines, use common sense, but not to live in fear.

Doctor Longest said he doesn’t know where he contracted the coronavirus. His wife has not been affected.

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