MONKEYPOX cases are rising in the UK with 302 now having been registered.
While the infection spread is still on a relatively small scale, one man has now revealed he was one of the first to catch the illness.
Yesterday it was reported that a further 73 cases were detected – all of which are in the last month alone.
Most cases of monkeypox are in England (287), followed by Scotland (10), Wales (three) and Northern Ireland (two).
Medics have also said that the majority of the cases have been detected in London and in gay men.
Speaking for the first time, George (not his real name) has revealed that he was one of the first to contract the bug in the capital.
The healthcare worker said he initially had been suffering with a fever, lower back pain, and also had swollen lymph nodes.
George, who identifies as gay, said he also had a rash and a black lesion on his groin, alongside little spot-like sores that had sprouted across his body.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said he had no idea what it was and at first, thought it was a sexually transmitted infection.
He first went to a sexual heath clinic in the capital, where he said experts ran tests but nothing came back.
Then, he developed a throat infection and George went to hospital, with medics suspecting monkeypox.
“Suddenly everyone was in PPE and taking it incredibly seriously.
“I feel like I managed to dodge Covid, but then suddenly I had monkeypox – at this point there were, like, less than 10 people confirmed in the UK. And then I’m one of them.
“I just had this sense of disbelief. The whole thing felt very surreal.”
After a PCR test confirmed suspicions, he was sent to the Royal Free Hospital’s infectious diseases ward.
Last week it was revealed that medics are focusing on dating apps and gays bars when it comes to the spread of the illness.
The signs of monkeypox you need to know
Experts at the UK Health Security Agency have said all Brits should be on the look out for key signs and symptoms.
The signs may include:
- Muscle aches
- Night sweats
- Cold-like symptoms, such as congestion and runny nose
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen groin
Medics said that complications of the illness were documented as:
- low mood
- severe pain
The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) said: “Currently most cases have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men, so it’s particularly important to be aware of the symptoms if you’re in these groups.”
A report said: “Investigations to date have identified links to gay bars, saunas and the use of dating apps in the UK and abroad.”
George explained that he believes he caught the infection from a sauna in Madrid in March.
He said it was the ‘most famous’ gay sauna in the city, and said while he didn’t have unprotected sex – he was intimate with others.
After his diagnosis he told his flatmates, who then had gloves and masks on and also asked him to wear the same protective gear.
Luckily, he was offered a room at the Royal London and spent nine nights isolating there before being moved to Liverpool for five nights to make more space for people in the capital.
George said he got the all clear three weeks after a positive test.
While he is now fully recovered and was able to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, he said he has suffered stigma because of the infection.
He added that there have already been some homophobic remarks. with some people assuming he got monkeypox from having unprotected sex.
Because of this, he said he’s worried about public perception.
Experts say that if you think you have monkeypox, then you should visit a sexual health clinic.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?
#Brits #catch #monkeypox #isolated #weeks