Lifestyle

I was one of the first Brits to catch monkeypox and was isolated for weeks

MONKEYPOX cases are on the rise in the UK, with 302 now recorded.

While the spread of the infection is still relatively small, a man has now revealed that he was one of the first to contract the disease.

Medical professionals have also said the majority of cases have been detected in London and among gay men

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Medical professionals have also said the majority of cases have been detected in London and among gay menCredit: AP

Yesterday it was reported that a further 73 cases had been detected – all in the last month alone.

The most cases of monkeypox are in England (287), followed by Scotland (10), Wales (three) and Northern Ireland (two).

Medical professionals have also said the majority of cases have been detected in London and among gay men.

George (not his real name) has spoken for the first time that he was one of the first to contract the virus in the capital.

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The health worker said he initially suffered from a fever, lower back pain and swollen lymph nodes.

George, who identifies as gay, said he also had a rash and a black lesion in his groin, alongside small patch-like sores that had grown across his body.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said he had no idea what it was and initially thought it was a sexually transmitted infection.

He first went to a sexual health clinic in the capital, where experts conducted tests, but nothing came back.

Then he got a sore throat and George went to the hospital, where the medics suspected monkeypox.

“Suddenly everyone was in PPE and taking it incredibly seriously.

“I feel like I managed to dodge Covid but then I suddenly had monkeypox – at that point there were fewer than 10 people confirmed in the UK. And then I’m one of them.

“I just had this feeling of disbelief. The whole thing felt very surreal.”

After a PCR test confirmed the suspicion, he was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Unit.

It was revealed last week that medical professionals are focusing on dating apps and gay bars when it comes to the spread of the disease.

You need to know the signs of monkeypox

Experts at Britain’s Health Safety Agency have said all Britons should be on the lookout for important signs and symptoms.

Signs can include:

  1. Fever
  2. headache
  3. Muscle cramp
  4. back pain
  5. chills
  6. exhaustion
  7. night sweats
  8. Cold symptoms such as stuffy and runny nose
  9. Swollen lymph nodes
  10. Swollen groin
  11. rash

Medical professionals said complications of the disease were documented as:

  • Bad mood
  • strong pain
  • conjunctivitis

The UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) said: “Currently, most cases have occurred in men who are gay, bisexual or who have sex with men, so it’s particularly important to be aware of the symptoms if you’re among these groups belong.”

According to a report: “Previous research has identified links to gay bars, saunas and the use of dating apps in the UK and abroad.”

George explained that he thinks he got infected in a sauna in Madrid in March.

He said it was the city’s “most famous” gay sauna and said that while he doesn’t engage in unprotected sex, he is intimate with others.

After his diagnosis, he told his roommates, who responded by putting on gloves and masks and asking him to wear the same protective gear.

Luckily he was offered a room at the Royal London and spent nine nights there in isolation before being transferred to Liverpool for five nights to make more space for people in the capital.

George said he got the all-clear three weeks after testing positive.

Although he is now fully recovered and celebrating his platinum anniversary, he said he suffered stigma as a result of the infection.

He added that there had already been some homophobic remarks. Some people assume he contracted monkeypox through unprotected sex.

Because of this, he said he was concerned about public perception.

Experts say if you think you have monkeypox you should see a sexual health clinic.

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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5507206/first-brits-catch-monkeypox-isolated-weeks/ I was one of the first Brits to catch monkeypox and was isolated for weeks

Sarah Y. Kim

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