The fight against coronavirus continues to take a toll on doctors and nurses who are already stretched thin from months on frontlines.
As new coronavirus cases top 5,000 for the first time in Texas, pressure on doctors and nurses is intensifying, again.
“In some ways, it’s almost like fighting a ghost because you just don't know what you're up against,” said Dr. Jerry Allison, ER physician with Trusted Medical Center.
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Doctor Allison said he’s seeing more people test positive after experiencing a wider variety of symptoms including abdominal pain and diarrhea.
“You just have to assume every patient that comes to the ER has coronavirus,” Dr. Allison said.
From his hospital in Mansfield to those in Dallas and Houston, front line workers are sounding alarm bells about the spike in cases.
In less than a week, new cases in the Houston area have more than doubled, prompting a warning from an infectious disease specialist.
"I believe if the numbers continue to rise at this pace, Houston is on track to become the worse affected city in the U.S.,” said infection disease specialist Dr. Peter Hotez.
Experts blame the surge on people not wearing masks and a lack of social distancing, especially among younger adults.
Dallas ER Dr. Robert Hancock said he's seen young, 200-pound men leave the hospital emaciated after days of treatment.
“I just kind of cringe when I go out and see people clearly that are just have gone back like nothing's going on. I'm afraid that we're going to get to a point where all the sudden everybody realizes this is bad, but a lot of the damage is done,” said Dr. Robert Hancock, Texas College of Emergency Physicians President-Elect.
As Texas continues to reopen, experts said some have a false sense of security when it comes to avoiding the virus and are urging everyone to follow safety guidelines.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.