Camile Seaton, a 20-year-old woman from Georgia, U.S, has revealed her experiences with monkeypox to the public.
Seaton described the infection as incredibly painful, rating the pain as an ’87’ on a scale of 10 in a video posted on her TikTok page.
She also said painful lesions on her hands made it hard to hold her phone or even perform regular at-home tasks.
Seaton told People the bumps that initially formed on her face in mid-July quickly turned white, telling her that something was wrong, but she wasn’t then familiar with monkeypox and its symptoms yet.
The mother-of-one went to a local hospital for testing days later and had her monkeypox case confirmed.
“I was touching a lot of money. The mask laws were lifted so we weren’t wearing any masks. I wasn’t wearing any gloves,” Seaton said.
“I just wasn’t being careful and I touched my face and my body and I’m transferring a whole bunch of germs subconsciously.”
Her symptoms quickly escalated when she went back home.
More lesions popped up around her body and she also suffered from a fever, rash, headaches and muscle and joint pain.
“It was uncomfortable. I was sanitizing everything, you know, like washing my hands every 15 minutes,’ Seaton said.
“The lesions on my face were the first to pop up and the bumps stayed on my face for a whole week and a half. And when my face started healing, bumps started appearing on my body.”
The situation got so bad that she had trouble just going through her day-to-day life.
“I have a lot on my hands, so it was hard for me to do anything with my hands… I couldn’t hold my phone. I couldn’t do anything around the house. I couldn’t even fold my clothes. It was extremely painful.”
Seaton sent her three-year-old daughter to live with family in a bid to protect her from catching the virus as well. She also stopped going to work.
In an interview with CBS, she said she still has not returned to work and her daughter has not returned home.
“It really attacks you and takes a toll on you. It’s very, very painful. I want people to know that it’s here and it’s spreading. It’s not a joke,’ she told People. ‘I can do what I can for the scars…they will fade but you will forever notice that they’re there.’
Seaton is a rare case among a woman, but some fear cases in people who are not gay or bisexual men are largely being missed.
Monkeypox cases have mostly been among gay and bisexual men since the start of the nation’s outbreak in May. And some experts are warning the virus has already spread into other vulnerable populations.
So far, at least five pediatric cases have been confirmed in the US, with many others potentially being missed. As a result, some are calling for testing and vaccine availability to be expanded.
Federal officials are making moves to make monkeypox jabs more available in America, approving plans to split doses into fifths to make the short supply go further.
The move comes as America’s monkeypox outbreak – the largest in the world so far – reaches 9,492 confirmed cases. New York makes up the largest portion of cases so far, with 2,104 in the state.