TESTIMONY. “I suddenly saw appear…”, he tells how he caught monkeypox

Fear and amazement… Sébastien did not expect to catch this new disease, which arrived after two years of the Covid pandemic. But he lived through three very painful weeks.

When Sébastien went to the good city of Marseille to participate in the Pride March 2022, it was with a view to celebrating. But things very quickly took a different turn for the young man… “I suddenly saw pimples appear on my body, he says. As I had already read things about “Monkey Pox” (the English name for monkeypox, Editor’s note), I quickly thought that could be it, although I was still not 100% sure. Worried but nothing more, I called 15.

I particularly wanted to know if I had to isolate myself, because there were obviously lots of people around me. The doctor on the other end of the line told me not to worry, that it was actually not worth it for me to isolate myself and that it was probably an infection sexually transmitted (STI). According to him, the only thing I had to do was get tested for STIs. I really insisted, but he seemed sure of himself.”

At the end of his Marseille weekend, various symptoms appear

But Sébastien doubts: friends of his have already caught this disease which, which emerged in May, is starting to make people talk about it. His research led him to discover that it is a rare viral zoonosis – that is to say a virus transmitted to humans by animals – which is observed mainly in isolated areas of the center and West Africa. We speak of monkeypox because the virus, similar to that of smallpox, was discovered in 1958 in laboratory monkeys in Copenhagen.

As Sébastien looks into the matter, more than 25,000 cases have already been diagnosed around the world. Doubtful after his telephone conversation with the doctor of 15, the young man therefore screened for STIs, but he had to wait 72 hours before getting his results. With hindsight, he thinks that a total ignorance of the disease reigned at the beginning of July within the 15.

At the hospital, they just give him Doliprane and a healing cream

His situation worsens at the end of the weekend. “Other symptoms appeared: body aches, headaches, fatigue…, he recalls. On Monday, before going to work, I went to the infectious diseases department of a hospital, for granted of conscience. I still took the risk of contaminating my colleagues and my relatives. The doctor who saw me told me in three seconds that I had indeed caught monkey pox, that it was obvious. so that I self-isolate for three weeks.”

Because his symptoms were relatively mild at the start, Sébastien was mainly worried about this long isolation. All his holiday plans had just fallen through. At the hospital, they just gave him Doliprane and a healing cream. “I didn’t really have any medical follow-up. When the pimples started to evolve, lesions and scars appeared, in addition to the pain, I found myself a little lost. Impossible to know if it was evolving correctly or not .” The only thing that helped him at that time was being able to chat with other sufferers on social media: “Even though I spent the first week in bed with a 40°C fever, I realized that many were experiencing far worse situations…”

“A new epidemic is coming and it seems like no one cares. It’s serious!”

“In the end, these discussions reassured me. I was not one of those who had very painful pimples. Those who had them in their throats had difficulty swallowing even water… A From the second week, we slowly enter the healing phase. But with the heat wave, I really suffered.”

Today, even if he still has a few scars, Sébastien is cured today. He takes stock: “When I was confirmed that I did indeed have monkeypox, I was told that the Regional Health Agency would contact me to trace my contact cases, as with the Covid. they never called me, which I find very serious. A new epidemic is coming and it seems that everyone doesn’t care. I’m not even talking about vaccination: a disaster! I really fear the returns of holidays and back to school. We risk having bad surprises…”

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