A New Yorker recounts his experience with monkeypox

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 04:00

‘I wish no one else I’ve had: Cured of monkeypox, which caused him ‘the worst pain of his life’ Kyle Blank, 26, of the New Yorker, laments the lack of health authorities to react when the first cases surfaced in United State.

A doctoral student in pharmacology who studies infectious diseases inevitably listened in May, when this disease, discovered for so long in Africa, was announced in a more exotic way in Europe, then in the United States, especially in MSM, Although anyone can catch it.

“I was a bit worried that it would affect us here, especially since I’m part of the LGBTQ+ community,” he told AFP in an interview with AFP in a park in Queens, facing Manhattan skyscrapers that dot the area. East River.

– Thirty pests –

At the end of June, “right after the Pride,” the Pride Parade, a major event for the LGBTQ+ community, “I started feeling sick,” said the stylish-looking brunette, black T-shirt, beard for days.

A negative Covid test and symptoms — fever and lymph nodes — make him think of monkeypox. A first doctor told him to “see how things (develop)”, but the rash after four days of fever left no doubt. “A day later, they spread all over my body, about thirty wounds.”

On July 5, she “was able to get tested and the next day started treatment” with Tpoxx (tecovirimat), an antiviral originally designed against human smallpox but only authorized on an experimental basis against monkeypox.

– ‘Hot baths’ –

Kyle readily admits that his medical institute made the procedure easier. “I know that’s not the reality for most people,” laments the young man, who wrote to elected officials to demand more flexibility in access to antivirals.

For if the treatment relieved him quickly, and if the disease disappeared spontaneously with milder symptoms, for a week he felt “the worst pains of his life”, especially “lesions on the mucous membranes (of him)”.

“I used to shower in hot water six to seven times a day, and that was all I could do,” he explains.

“It was almost always in pain, and my pain level was 7 out of 10 throughout the day,” he recalls, “and it was exhausting.” Not to mention the fear of contaminating his roommate, even if sent by close contact.

“At the end of the day, I had a relatively mild case” thanks to “rapid detection and treatment (…) and I know many people have had a much worse experience,” Kyle acknowledges, however.

– priority –

For him, stronger measures could have been taken earlier, but “since they only affected a small part of the population, they may not have been considered a priority.”

“For the (US) government it was a bit + let’s wait and see what happens, if it becomes a + problem, but infectious diseases don’t work that way,” he believes, while the World Health Organization convenes an emergency committee on monkeypox. Thursday.

“We have vaccines, we have millions of doses of Tpoxx (the treatment), but ‘we still haven’t really been able to mobilize these resources,'” he adds, also denouncing the very timid prevention messages.

The United States has 100 million doses of ACAM2000, a vaccine designed against human smallpox but which causes significant side effects and is not recommended for immunocompromised people.

But when the disease appeared, they only had a thousand doses of Genos, a more modern and safer vaccine, especially because nearly 800,000 doses had been banned in Denmark pending US Drug Agency (FDA) examination. This vaccine was published in numbers only at the end of June.

New York, with a population of over 8 million, has recorded 711 cases of monkeypox since the virus emerged (compared to 223 on July 11), a number that may have been underestimated. The city has received 21,500 doses of the Jynneos vaccine and is awaiting a new supply of more than 25,000 doses.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.