Timeline of patient’s rash photo going viral

As cases of monkeypox are on the rise around the world, some infected people are sharing photos and videos on social media to spread awareness of the symptoms, show what the rash actually looks like, and educate others about the disease.

On social media, a man named Silver Steel posted a photo timeline on Instagram of how his monkey disease progressed over the course of three weeks, which has since gone viral.

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The 40-year-old Houston, Texas resident contracted monkeypox in early July, Steele told TODAY. Alongside the now-viral selfie collage, she wrote: “My goal is to educate, not insult anyone.”

“Not everyone presents with the same symptoms, but I’ve been told by several professionals that my case is a ‘clinically ideal’ example and that it’s being used in CDC demonstrations and medical journals,” Steele added.

It took seven to eight days for Steele’s symptoms to appear after being exposed to the virus, Steele wrote in a comment on his Instagram post. In another comment, Steele noted that there was “nothing” on the affected area of ​​her face before the sores appeared.

Steele said he first noticed several small blisters under his mouth on July 11. He called it irritation from sunscreen or shaving because he spent the weekend on a boat. But on the third day, Steele said, he noticed that the blisters were forming in clusters and getting bigger, but unlike regular pimples, they didn’t pop.

On July 15, Steele said, she woke up with flu-like symptoms, a sore throat and tender lymph nodes. These lasted about 48 hours.

That’s when Steele said he found out he had monkeypox. “Flu-like symptoms paired with it are a sure sign … So I went to the doctor,” Steele said. His sores were swabbed to test for the virus and on July 18, it came back positive.

Steele’s lesions range from pimple-like bumps to large sores and crusted sores, which she says are painful. After two and a half weeks of illness, her sores finally began to shrink. “The pink rims show he’s on the mend,” Steele said in a July 28 video update to viewers.

By August 1, his scabs had completely fallen off and a new layer of skin had formed, he said. He was cleared by his doctor to return to work in August. 5.

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What are the common symptoms of monkeypox?

A classic case of monkeypox usually begins with a flu-like set of symptoms (also called a prodrome) that include fever, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle aches, and chills.

The rash then usually appears within five days of these flu-like symptoms, but sometimes it can appear at the same time as those symptoms or without any flu-like symptoms, says Dr. Scott Roberts, associate medical director of infection prevention and control at Yale School of Medicine, said earlier TODAY. As in Steele’s case, many patients reported developing flu-like symptoms after the lesions.

Before the current outbreak, the rash usually started on the face and hands before spreading to the rest of the body. But studies of current outbreaks have shown that lesions around the rectum, genitals, mouth, and throat (as well as other parts of the body) often appear first and do not always spread to other parts of the body.

The rash usually starts as a flat, red patch of skin that then turns into hard, raised bumps that look like blisters or pimples, TODAY reported. Monkeypox lesions are often described as deep, well-circumscribed, and umbilical, which means there is a pit in the center of the disease, Dr. Paul Adamson, assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, told TODAY.

The sores then fill with pus or fluid and eventually crust or scab over, which can last up to four weeks. “It’s basically after the rash becomes infected, before the new layer of skin develops,” Adamson said.

“If it’s hard to review, imagine what it’s like?”

The graphic selfies posted by Steele show the reality of the often painful and isolating illness. “If it’s hard to review, imagine what it’s like?” Steele said in another video posted to Instagram on July 25.

Steele initially shared the photos on his personal Facebook to update his friends, but decided to post them on Instagram and Twitter after joining a Zoom support group for gay men with epilepsy.

“There were people who just felt alone and scared … felt like pariahs,” Steele said.

“I made a lot of parallels between this and what happened 40 years ago (with HIV) in our society, and at that time (I) broke down and said that this should not happen again. So I decided to do something. I changed with my experience and went public,” he said. he added.

Since her photos went viral, Steele said she’s had to deal with “monkey pox” and “cold shoulder” from some people who know her in public. “When I re-entered society, I was ready for it. … I know everything that comes from a place of fear.”

In the meantime, Steele said, her inbox has been “flooding with messages of gratitude” from people who have received vaccinations, recognized symptoms or been tested as a result of Steele sharing her story. “It was all worth what I went through,” he said.

Steele noticed his first monkeypox lesions on August 17, more than a month later. (Silver Steel)

Steele said his photos will encourage people to be vigilant and aware of their behavior, such as at crowded events, and to get vaccinated if possible.

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Steele ended one video urging people to be kind. “These are not people who deserve to be infected with the virus. They just got it. … If you have any, please reach out. I know there are a lot of people out there who feel alone right now,” Steele said.

Monkey pox patients are raising awareness about what the symptoms are

Other monkeypox patients have also shared photos and videos on social media to spread the word about what the symptoms are like and what the recovery process entails.

Maksym Sapozhnikov, a creative producer and fashion blogger living in Milan, Italy, said that he was diagnosed with monkeypox in June. Sapozhnikov, who has more than 12.1 million views on his TikTok posted on June 26, shared what Sapozhnikov said looked like “fives” but turned out to be monkeypox.

“At first I was afraid to talk about it, but later I decided that I want to help people with #monkeypox,” Sapozhnikov captioned the photo.

In an interview with SkyNews, Sapozhnikov recalled that he felt sick, had a fever that lasted two days, and noticed two smallpox-like sores.

“I believe that social awareness is more important than any stigma. No disease is shameful,” wrote Sapozhnikov in the caption of another video on Instagram.

Josh Jones and @ava__monet, a TikTok user, posted a clip on social media three days ago showing a week of monkeypox, which has since garnered over 3.1 million views.

Pointing to monkeypox sores all over his chest and face, Jones said the bumps are finally scabbing over, but will take another two weeks to heal. “I feel so much better since taking TPOXX,” Jones added. (TPOXX, or tecovirimat, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for the treatment of smallpox, which belongs to the same virus family as monkeypox, and can be used in patients who have severe disease or are at risk of severe disease. Food and drug administration).

Another monkeypox patient has taken to social media to share his journey and spread awareness — Joshua Wright, a personal trainer, posted on TikTok on July 9 showing examples of sufferers in various stages of development.

Wright first shows the sore on his leg in an earlier stage of development: “It looks like a slash pimple from a bug bite. … It’s also starting to have a little red circle in the center,” he said in the video. Further pointing to a facial lesion, Wright demonstrated the formation of a “whitehead.”

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At the end, Wright showed a wound on his wrist, which was swollen and filled with fluid. “It will break out, (but) it won’t break out like a pimple,” Wright said, adding that the sore is very painful but will soon reach the healing stage and become a scab.

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkey pox is usually transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, experts previously told TODAY. This can include sexual activity, as well as kissing, hugging, touching and other non-intimate direct contact. The virus can spread through an infected person’s wounds, scabs, body fluids, respiratory tract, or contaminated materials such as bedding, clothing, or towels.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms usually appear within three weeks of exposure to the virus. Monkeypox lesions can appear anywhere on the body or be isolated to an area that has been in contact with an infected person, Roberts told TODAY earlier.

Anyone with suspected monkeypox should see their doctor or local health department for testing.

“Don’t just sit around playing the waiting game,” advises Steele. “If you have a sore, you’re contagious…so get it checked out before you pass it on to someone else.”

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