What it’s like to have the virus, get vaccinated

In mid-June, Matt Ford learned someone he had been in contact with the weekend prior was experiencing monkeypox symptoms. The following weekend, intense flu-like symptoms hit the 30-year-old hard. Fever, chills, sore throat, coughing, swollen lymph nodes and sweating through his sheets at night.

After being swabbed for monkeypox at his doctor’s office, flu-like symptoms lessened but lesions appeared and became “quite painful.”

Dull, constant soreness. Bursts of sharp jabbing pain whenever he moved the wrong way or irritated a lesion.

His test results confirmed it: He had monkeypox too.

The US has recorded more than 300 cases of monkeypox across more than two dozen states, yet the disease remains a mystery for many.

Caused by a virus in the same family as smallpox, monkeypox is transmissible through person-to-person contact with rashes, scabs or bodily fluids, as well as touching infected items like clothing. Symptoms, which can begin to appear seven to 14 days after exposure, include fever, muscle aches, exhaustion and a rash that can appear on the body. It is fatal for up to 1 in 10 people, the World Health Organization says. No deaths have been reported in the current US outbreak.

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