Morgan Jericho shares their experience after being diagnosed with monkeypox. Learn more about monkeypox facts as well as Morgan’s personal journey. If you’d like to learn more, check out their youtube video with photos of lesion progression: https://youtu.be/AVVh2JS1LSQ
Transcript: Hello! My name is Morgan Jericho. I was diagnosed with monkeypox and I wanted to share my story and experiences with you so that you can become familiar with what to do in the future. On July 16th, I was exposed to monkeypox when I met up with a friend and we hugged each other, gave kisses on the cheek, shared drinks with each other. They had no symptoms that day Monkeypox, abbreviated mpox, can be transmitted in several different ways. Most commonly transmitted via direct contact such as skin-to-skin contact with lesions. This can be through hugging, kissing, holding hands, and whatnot. Another approach is through shared things or things others have touched. For example, sharing a drink with another person. The third approach can be from coughs or sneezes which disperses droplets that land on another person. If you noticed, Morgan was exposed from a person with no symptoms. Many people are now starting to realize something different. One paper recently published suggests that monkeypox can be spread when asymptomatic. Typically, in the past, when symptoms appear is when monkeypox became contagious. Based on the recent research, now maybe asymptomatic individuals can spread monkeypox. A few days later, my friend contacted me letting me know their symptoms had appeared. I was shocked by the news and decided to go see my doctor. I asked my doctor about my testing and vaccination options. The doctor told me there was nothing they could do and I would have to ride it out on my own. That hit me, I realized the reality and accepted this. So I went back home and started preparing. That week I had no symptoms and felt fine. I took this time to get ready to potentially get monkeypox and prepare for the worst. Monkeypox is now a public health emergency and unfortunately public health is facing some challenges. We are facing challenges with having enough tests, enough vaccines, and providing treatment. Access to all of these is still a struggle and states are starting to have more and more resources available. Unfortunately, it will take time to get the maximum amount of resources for everyone. One week after quarantining, symptoms appeared for me. These symptoms included fever, headache, tight back muscles, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. The monkeypox incubation period can range anywhere from 4 to 21 days. This recent outbreak appears to have an average incubation period of 8 days. Symptoms include the five that Morgan listed like fever, headache, exhaustion are normal symptoms, but one symptom that is unique to monkeypox is the swollen lymph nodes. Maybe you noticed that many of these symptoms look similar to another disease, the flu. These symptoms are considered the first stage of monkeypox. The second stage looks like what? Those symptoms I listed lasted for three days and when a rash finally showed up, my other symptoms disappeared, except for the swollen lymph nodes which continued for longer. It was incredibly hard to swollow and there was a lot of pain. This lasted for about a week. It was a difficult experience and luckily it did resolve My rashes showed up three times. The first time was in three spots on my forehead, chest, and hand. The next day, the rash took over the entire front of my body, which was unexpected! A few days later, my back became covered in rashes. During that process of rashes, it took 1 to 2, 3 days to turn into blisters. Surprisingly, the rashes on my back stayed the same so far and hasn’t blistered. The rashes and blisters on the front of my body was itchy and painful and I had to be careful. But my back, no pain! Honestly, I’m really surprised. Now the first rashes on my forehead, chest, and hand have started to scab. The scabs on my face has already fallen off and resolved. However, the rashes on my stomach are still blisters but slowly are starting to scab. My back is still just a rash and I’m still monitoring what will happen next. Of course, I’m hoping it doesnt blister, but we’ll see! As Morgan showed, the first stage has symptoms like fever, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. With the second stage showing the presence of rashes, blisters, and scabs. When the scab falls off revealing new skin, it means monkeypox is no longer contagious. However, all lesions on the body must scab and fall off because the monkeypox virus is no longer contagious. Now I am going through my second week with monkeypox with a little more to go and I seem to be healing well so far and this is my story and experience as of right now. If you are curious and want to learn more about monkeypox, check out Atomic Hands pages where we will share different resources that are available!
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