What it’s like to have the virus, get vaccinated

In mid-June, Matt Ford learned someone he had been in contact with the previous weekend was showing symptoms of monkeypox. The following weekend, intense flu-like symptoms hit the 30-year-old hard. Fever, chills, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes and sweating through his sheets at night.

After being swabbed for monkeypox at his doctor’s office, the flu-like symptoms subsided but lesions appeared and became “quite painful”.

Dull and constant pain. Sharp bursts of pain whenever he moved the wrong way or irritated a lesion.

The results of his tests confirmed it: he also had monkeypox.

The United States has recorded at least 460 cases of monkeypox reported in 30 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, but the disease remains a mystery to many.

Caused by a virus in the same family as smallpox, monkeypox is spread through person-to-person contact with rashes, scabs, or bodily fluids, as well as through contact with infected objects like clothing. Symptoms, which may begin to appear seven to 14 days after exposure, include fever, muscle aches, exhaustion, and a rash that may appear on the body. It is fatal for up to 1 in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization. No deaths have been reported in the current outbreak in the United States.

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