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Georgia woman turns to TikTok to discuss her bout with monkeypox

A TikTok user is going viral for sharing her candid experience with monkeypox. She says on a scale of one to ten, the pain was “an 87!”

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — In videos with more than five million views on TikTok, a Georgia woman documents days three through 12 of monkeypox– showing the disease’s progression from hardly noticeable, to a full outbreak, to scabbing over. 

In her videos, the TikTok user known as @imadeyouscream calmly walks us through her experience of “massive fevers, headaches, extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, excruciating pain. That that you just could never imagine.”

The woman believes she got it at work. She's a cashier at a gas station. “A lot of men are being targeted for this virus,” she says, adding “and I'm here to tell you again, sex is not the only way you can contract this virus.” 

Dr. Davey Smith, head of Infectious Diseases and Global Health at UC San Diego, agrees. “It doesn't ask if you're a gay man and that's who it's going to transmit to,” he said. 

Dr. Smith says anyone can get it and it’s most commonly spread through direct contact.  “Where does most direct physical contact happen? When skin to skin contact happens? During sex.”

He also says if you've been exposed to monkeypox, don't wait for symptoms before seeing a doctor. “Please go seek medical care. There might be something we can give you that prevents getting monkeypox later.”

Dr. Smith calls some of the things stated in the video, like catching it simply by riding in a car with an infected person, unknown, but unlikely. He does agree with her suggestion to wash your hands and wear a mask… but not because of monkeypox. “I think it's always good to wash your hands and in this time of COVID, it's always good to wear a mask,” Dr. Smith said. “How much that helps with monkeypox, not as much.”

The video's creator says monkeypox has forced her to miss about a month of work. And while she is feeling better, she says the scars are still there and she doubts they will ever completely fade away. 

She has set up a Gofundme account to help cover her lost wages and medical expenses.  

TMX contributed to this story. 

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