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Monkeypox began its resurgence earlier this year in the UK when cases were reported in the country for the first time in the country since 2018. Since then, it has spread gradually through the population. Despite the low number of cases compared with COVID-19, monkeypox is not a condition to be underestimated. In order to highlight this, one American patient shared his symptoms and encouraged others to get vaccinated against the disease.
Lake Javan is a monkeypox patient based in the United States.
After experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, he took to social media to share his experiences and to warn against not taking the disease seriously.
He posted photos of one swollen and bloody index finger, as well as selfies showing the lesions on his face and chin.
Writing alongside the photos, Javan said: “If anybody things monkeypox is a joke – it’s sadly not.”
Javan added his photos did not “show the lesions inside [his] mouth or [the] small ones on [his] arms”.
Javan also recalled how symptoms began and what they were: “Symptoms started last Wednesday: beginning with extreme chills.
“Next chronic fatigue and migraine level headaches and body pain. When it wasn’t chills, I was waking up in pools of sweat; during the sickness stage large puss-filled bumps formed on my face and on the inside of my mouth.
“At first, more unsightly and annoying than anything, but as things have progressed out of the sickness stage they’ve progressed to extremely high levels of pain.”
In light of his experiences, Javan is hoping to encourage more people to come forward to be vaccinated against monkeypox.
Unlike COVID-19 during the early stage of the pandemic, there is a vaccine which can protect people from monkeypox in the form of the smallpox vaccine.
As a result, countries around the world have been buying up doses to administer to at-risk groups.
The smallpox vaccine is now being offered to people most at risk of monkeypox on the NHS.
As of this week there are around 2,367 cases in the UK with 98 percent of them among sexually active LGBTQ+ men.
Of the 2,367, 2,115 of them are in London.
Symptoms of monkeypox listed by the NHS include:
• A high temperature
• Muscle aches
• Swollen glands
The UKHSA (United Kingdom Health Security Agency) has provided a list of all those who are eligible for the smallpox vaccine.
This includes healthcare workers “who are caring for and who are due to start caring for a patient with confirmed monkeypox” and “gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men at highest risk of exposure”.
Also included in the list are people who have recently had close contact with someone recently diagnosed with monkeypox.
Due to limited supply of the vaccine, only one dose will be offered to each person eligible.
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