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TAMUCC pandemic researcher recovers from COVID-19

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Posted at 7:04 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 13:50:50-04

A Texas A&M University researcher studying how COVID-19 is spreading locally, has recovered from the virus he is researching.

Bryan Gillis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Science and a master’s degree in Geospatial Engineering from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, is the Director of the Spatial {Query} Lab at the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science. He is a top dog member of a special task force coordinating with local officials and studying the local models that indicate the course of the virus across the Coastal Bend.

“I didn’t start to think it was COVID-19 until I had fever for three days,” Gillis said according to the TAMUCC website. “I had chest pains, extreme fatigue, and lack of smell, but I already have heavy nerve damage from my time in the Marine Corps. Fever was unusual for me, so I started thinking maybe something’s off when that persisted.”

The local Veterans Association set up Gillis with tests on April 17 and was notified of the results on April 21.

“I had three separate tests there; a blood test, a nasal swab, and a throat swab," Gillis said according to the TAMUCC website. "I got tested on a Friday and they called me on a Tuesday to tell me two tests were inconclusive and one ‘looked’ positive and to start treating myself as a presumptive positive.”

Gillis was struggling with symptoms for about four weeks, according to him.

“I stayed sick longer than normal, and it wasn’t until the VA changed my treatment plan that I started to have any kind of relief,” Gillis said according to the TAMUCC website. “I had heavy symptoms for about four weeks, and because of the damage caused I have to take medicine daily and will have to use a CPAP to get oxygen at night.”

Gillis said he was possibly exposed at either the grocery store or hardware store, as he and his immunocompromised wife, Melanie Gingras, have been diligent to not catch the virus.

“Even when going out, we practiced social distancing and wearing masks,” he said according to the TAMUCC website. “It’s just luck of the draw, I guess. I’m still relieved that it was me that had it and not my wife.”

Gillis reports that he has recovered from the virus.