TESTIMONY. “I suddenly saw…” he says of how he caught monkeypox

Fear and astonishment… Sébastien did not expect to contract this new disease that appeared after two years of the Covid pandemic. But he endured three very painful weeks.

When Sébastien traveled to the good city of Marseille to take part in the 2022 Pride March, it was to celebrate. But things turned out differently for the young man very quickly… “I suddenly saw pimples on my body,” he says, “because I had already read about Monkey Pox.” (the English name for monkeypox, editor’s note), I quickly thought this might be it, although I still wasn’t 100% sure. Concerned but no more, I called 15.

I especially wanted to know if I need to isolate myself because obviously there were a lot of people around me. The doctor on the other end of the line told me not to worry that it wasn’t really worth isolating for me and that it was probably a sexually transmitted infection (STI). According to him, all I had to do was get tested for STIs. I really insisted, but he seemed confident.”

Various symptoms emerge at the end of his Marseille weekend

But Sébastien has his doubts: friends of his have already contracted this disease, which has been on everyone’s lips since May. His research led him to the discovery that it is a rare viral zoonosis, a virus transmitted from animals to humans that is mainly observed in remote areas of central and west Africa. We speak of monkeypox because the smallpox-like virus was discovered in laboratory monkeys in Copenhagen in 1958.

As Sébastien investigates, more than 25,000 cases have been diagnosed worldwide. So doubtful after his phone call with the 15-year-old doctor, the young man had himself checked for STIs, but had to wait 72 hours to get his results. In hindsight he thinks that at the beginning of July within the 15th

In the hospital they only give him Doliprane and a healing cream

His situation worsens at the end of the weekend. “Other symptoms appeared: body aches, headaches, tiredness…” he recalls. On Monday before I went to work, I went to the infectious diseases department of a hospital because of my conscience. I still took the risk of infecting my colleagues and my relatives. The doctor who saw me told me in three seconds that I did indeed have monkeypox, that it was obvious, so I self-isolated for three weeks.”

As his symptoms were initially relatively mild, Sébastien was particularly worried about this long isolation. All his vacation plans had just fallen through the cracks. In the hospital they only gave him Doliprane and a healing cream. “I didn’t really have any medical follow-up. As the pimples started to develop, lesions and scars appeared, in addition to the pain, I felt a little lost. Impossible to know whether it developed correctly or not. ”The only thing that helped him at the time was the exchange with other sick people on social media: “Although I spent the first week in bed with a temperature of 40 degrees, I did noticed that many are much worse off…”

“A new epidemic is coming and it seems nobody cares. It’s serious!”

“In the end, these conversations calmed me down. I was not one of those people who had very painful pimples. Those who had it in their throats found it difficult to swallow water themselves… A From the second week we slowly enter the healing phase. But I really suffered from the heat wave.”

Today, although he still has some scars, Sébastien is healed today. He takes stock: “When I was confirmed that I did indeed have monkeypox, I was told that the Regional Health Authority would contact me to follow up on my contact cases, like with Covid. They never called me, which I take very seriously. A.” A new epidemic is coming and it seems that everyone doesn’t care. I’m not even talking about vaccinations: a disaster! I’m really scared of the holidays and going back to school. We risk nasty surprises…”

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