A Georgia woman has gone public with her experiences with monkeypox, one of the few cases among a woman to be reported in the U.S. during the outbreak so far.
Camile Seaton, 20, first noticed bumps on her face on July 11 and assumed it was acne. On July 16, more bumps appeared and she went to the hospital for tests and it was confirmed that she had the virus. Now, a month later, some visible bumps remain on her face and her 3-year-old daughter still lives with the family to protect her from the virus.
Seaton described the infection as incredibly painful, rating the pain an “87” on a scale of 10 in a video posted on her TikTok page. Seaton also said the painful injuries to her hands made it difficult to pick up the phone or even perform routine tasks around the house.
Seaton (pictured) described the pain of her monkeypox infection as an 87 out of 10. It was so bad that it made it difficult for her to do some household chores.
Cases of monkeypox have mostly been among gay and bisexual men since the country’s outbreak began in May. And some experts warn that the virus has already spread to other vulnerable populations.
So far, at least five pediatric cases have been confirmed in the US, with many more likely to be missed. As a result, some are calling for expanded testing and vaccine availability.
Federal officials are making moves to make monkeypox jabs more available in America, approving plans to split doses into fifths to make the scarce supply go further.
The move comes as the U.S. monkeypox outbreak, the world’s largest to date, reaches 9,492 confirmed cases. New York accounts for the largest number of cases so far, with 2,104 in the state.
Seaton told People that the bumps that initially formed on her face in mid-July quickly turned white, telling her something was wrong, but at the time she wasn’t familiar with monkey pox and her symptoms
The mother of one went to a local hospital for tests days later and her case was confirmed as smallpox.
‘He was touching a lot of money. The mask laws were lifted because we weren’t wearing any masks. I wasn’t wearing gloves,” Seaton said. “I wasn’t careful and I touched my face and body and I’m transferring a bunch of germs unknowingly.”
Her symptoms quickly escalated when she returned home. More lesions appeared on his body and he also suffered from fever, rashes, headaches and muscle and joint pain.
‘It was awkward. I was sanitizing everything, you know, like washing my hands every 15 minutes,” Seaton said.
“The lesions on my face were the first to appear and the bumps stayed on my face for a whole week and a half. And as my face started to heal, bumps started to appear on my body.
The situation got so bad that it was hard for him just to go about his day to day life.
“I have a lot in my hands, so it was hard to do anything with my hands…I couldn’t hold the phone. I couldn’t do anything around the house. I couldn’t even fold my clothes. It was extremely painful.
Seaton sent his three-year-old daughter to live with the family in order to protect her from catching the virus as well. He also stopped going to work. In an interview with CBS, she said she still hasn’t returned to work and her daughter hasn’t come home.
“It really attacks you and takes a toll on you. It’s very, very painful. I want people to know it’s here and it’s spreading. It’s not a joke,” she told People. “I can do what I can about the scars…they will fade, but you’ll always notice they’re there.”
Seaton is a rare case among a woman, but some cases of fear in people who are not gay or bisexual are being missed.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration and current board member of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that controlling the virus will only be possible if more people are tested .
“There’s potential to get this back in the box, but it’s going to be very difficult at this point,” Gottlieb said.
“We continue to find cases in the community of men who have sex with men, it’s spreading primarily within that community, but there’s no question that it’s spread outside of that community at this point and I think we have to start look for cases. more widely.’
While exact federal data is not available, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing last week that the group still accounts for the majority of cases .
In July, New York City officials revealed that 95 percent of cases in the Big Apple, the nation’s monkeypox hot spot, involve men. At least three in five confirmed cases affected those who identified as gay, bisexual or lesbian.
Seaton said she was not offered the Jynneos vaccine or any smallpox or smallpox therapeutics when she filed a case.
America is facing a shortage of both tests and vaccines right now. Until now, they have been reserved for men who have sex with other men.
The CDC has greatly expanded its testing capacity in recent weeks, and can now conduct 80,000 tests per week with its own tests and established agreements with private partners.
Last week, Walensky said only about 10 percent of U.S. testing capacity was being used, opening the door to significant expansions in the number of people to be tested.
This outbreak could also get worse soon, experts fear. The new school year will begin at colleges and universities across the US in the coming weeks.
Young students are more likely to engage in sloppy sexual behavior, creating a perfect storm for potential monkeypox outbreaks across the country.
“As we head into the fall, I’m concerned about outbreaks on college campuses because they’re often a place where people engage in higher-risk sexual activity and are in close contact with many different people,” Dr. Rachel Cox, assistant professor at the General Health Institute of Health Professionals, he told CNN.
“We need to make sure we’re ready to allocate resources like testing, vaccines and antivirals to places that may become hotspots.”
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