US man shares his experience with monkeypox in candid PSA

matt ford monkeypox tiktok psa
Images: Matt Ford/TikTok

A man who caught monkeypox in the United States has documented his experience with the virus in a viral TikTok.

Since an unusual outbreak started in May, there have been more than 3,400 cases and one death in over 50 countries where the virus is not endemic.

Those cases are predominantly in Europe and many are in gay, bi and men who have sex with men.

However authorities have repeatedly stressed that it is not a “gay disease” and anyone can contract monkeypox. This week, the UK and other countries have reported cases in children.

But the vast majority of people usually recover from the infection in a few weeks, and it doesn’t spread easily.

Monkeypox can transmit through prolonged close contact, or direct contact with bodily fluids, lesions or scabs on the skin, or contact with a person’s bedding or clothes.

In Australia, there have been seven cases reported in New South Wales, four in Victoria in one in South Australia, nearly all in returned travellers.

But in the US, 173 cases have been reported in 24 states.

US man Matt Ford says monkeypox is ‘no joke’ in viral PSA

Last week, gay actor, writer and singer Matt Ford shared on social media that he was one of them, declaring the virus “sucks and you don’t want it”.

He opened up about what having the virus was like in a popular Twitter thread and TikTok.

“I have monkeypox currently and this s__t is absolutely no joke,” he wrote.

“I believe I was exposed to it around a week before symptoms manifested.

“Started off with just a couple bumps, then developed intense flu-like symptoms. Fever, chills, sweats, fatigue, etc.

“Then those symptoms lessened and more spots appeared in various places on my body. I didn’t even notice some at first, but they’ve quickly become itchy and painful, particularly if on or near any sensitive areas. [Some] showed up on my face, as well.

“I went to my doctor and they did a swab culture on a couple of spots. Those were sent to the Dept of Public Health, which confirmed I tested positive.

“Some people I know who’ve had it reported mild cases, but the exposure web I’m linked to has had some severe symptoms.

“I’m currently struggling to sleep through the night. This s__t sucks.”

In Ford’s TikTok PSA, he showed the “painful” lesions on his face, arms and stomach.

In a more recent update, Ford explained he’s on the mend and was waiting for the lesions to heal.

He welcomed the US government’s rollout of pre-existing vaccines but he was concerned about undiagnosed, “under-the-radar” cases.

He said the government needs to “pick up the pace” on both testing and vaccines and encouraged people in major cities to “get vaccinated if you can”.

“If you’re in New York and can get the vaccine, go do it,” he said.

@jmatthiasford sry the sound was too appropriate #monkeypox #monkeypoxvirus #monkeypoxoutbreak #monkeypoxvaccine #CDC #WHO #greenscreen #fyp #fypシ ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

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