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Dr. Is In: The latest on the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Salim Surani discusses the impact of shortages and ease of testing during this uptick in the pandemic.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — COVID cases are on the rise with the emergency of Omicron and the post-holiday Surge. Dr. Salim Surani joins us on First Edition to discuss the impact of this surge, as well as why testing actually matters.

When asked about the shortage of tests and what that could mean, Dr. Surani had this to say:

"This is a big challenge. The testing is very important. If you have a disease that is very lethal you get very sick, and tend to seek treatment earlier. But if your symptoms are mild and the testing takes too long, you may shrug those off and go to the store or school."

The added travel times and potential contact means it's easier for someone to spread a disease.

"Ease of testing is a key factor," Said Dr. Surani, "You don't want to stand in line for two or three hours."

Furthermore we asked Dr. Surani what he, as a professional thought about the rapid tests.

"More than 99.95% accuracy," Dr. Surani said of rapid tests, "If there is any doubt you have about a negative test - a false negative test - and you're having a lot of symptoms, you can always confirm with a PCR test."

Still, with high accuracy and ease of use, these at home tests are an excellent option for people looking to monitor their health.

Finally, Dr. Surani confirmed that while these tests don't confirm which strain of COVID a person has, that might not matter.

"The county sends a portion of the tests to the CDC for genomic testing. That tells what is circulating in your county." Dr. Surani said. And if that strain is prevalent in the area, odds are an individual case has it.

So rather, it's just knowing that you're positive helps you to protect yourself and others. As long as you know if you have COVID or not, you can respond accordingly.

You can watch the full interview with Dr. Surani in the video above.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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