Dan Barnes, D.O., has served as president of FirstHealth Physician Group since January 2012.
He earned his medical degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
and completed both his internal medicine internship and residency at
Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
A Letter to the Community:
I’m writing this letter after becoming one of the latest victims of COVID-19. I want to share my experience to help raise awareness and help highlight the need for everyone to continue to be vigilant during this pandemic.
I was exposed by a neighbor who was vaccinated earlier this year, and he was asymptomatic during the time I was with him. I am also vaccinated, but unfortunately, I contracted COVID-19 during this interaction. My symptoms began three days following exposure and were flu-like in nature. I developed a high fever that lasted for more than 48 hours, and it came with other symptoms such as headache and a productive cough. At one point, my resting pulse was over 100, leading me to seek outpatient treatment at Montgomery Memorial Hospital.
My experience there was exceptional. I received an antibody infusion and felt an almost immediate impact. Soon after, I began to recover and was able to do a light workout.
I share this story to raise your awareness. Breakthrough infections are happening, and it’s a reminder that the pandemic is not over, even for those of us who are vaccinated. My exposure and COVID-19 case does not lessen my support for vaccination in any way but has only bolstered it. If my symptoms were mild on the spectrum based off having antibodies from vaccination, I do not want to imagine how much worse my symptoms would have been without any protection.
Please take every precaution as you go about your daily activities. This Delta variant of COVID-19 is significantly more transmissible, so we need to be on our guard more than ever. Numbers across the state are rising.
I realize that many have decided not to get vaccinated, and I would plead with you to reconsider. The vaccines work, and they are especially effective at preventing the worst outcomes from COVID-19 – hospitalization and death. Anyone 18 and older is eligible to be vaccinated, and those 12 and older can receive a Pfizer vaccine when scheduled by their parent or guardian. For help scheduling a vaccine, call (910) 715-SHOT.
Thank you for trusting FirstHealth for all your health care needs. Know that we are committed to providing exceptional care and working as hard as ever to deliver on our core purpose – To Care for People.
Dan Barnes, D.O.
President, FirstHealth Physician Group