Published On: Thu, Jul 9th, 2020

Inside a Texas hospital overwhelmed by virus cases: “It seems like it’s going to be getting a lot worse”


Inside the intensive care unit where coronavirus patients are treated in a McAllen, Texas, hospital, nearly every patient is on a ventilator and their chance of beating the virus is slim. Texas on Tuesday broke its single-day record, reporting just over 10,000 new virus cases.

Medical staff at the South Texas Health System McAllen hospital are strained, struggling to treat more than 140 patients — the highest they’ve had since the start of the pandemic.

There are so many patients coming in that there are not enough beds for them.

“Knowing how things have progressed, are you worried?” CBS News asked Dr. Osman Khan, an emergency room physician. 

“Yeah, I am worried. I feel like it is just the beginning for us. It seems like it’s going to be getting a lot worse,” Khan said.

Texas coronavirus
A doctor treats a patient at a hospital in McAllen, Texas.

CBS News


While we were there, Kahn was treating Juana Prieto, who’s developed pneumonia on top of coronavirus.

“Have you seen your husband?” CBS News asked. “Once,” Prieto replied.

Prieto, and her husband, Jesus, were hospitalized after losing their 35-year-old daughter, Jessica, to the virus last week.

“For people that don’t understand, what this virus is, what has this done to your family?” CBS News asked.

“There’s no words I can describe this. Losing your kid, my only daughter,” Prieto said.

New cases in the Rio Grande Valley have increased by nearly 70% from two weeks ago. Rooms with virus patients inside have been retrofitted with special air filters. Hospital administrators told CBS News they have reached critical capacity and they need help before things get out of hand.



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