Metrofocus: August 3, 2022

Encore: August 05, 2022

New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a local state of emergency this week due to the monkeypox outbreak. This comes after Governor Kathy Hochul declared a ‘disaster emergency’ in the State of New York. The city has reported over 1,500 monkeypox cases, which accounts for over a quarter of the total U.S. case count. New York City’s Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan joins us with the latest information city officials have learned about the origin of the disease, how it is transmitted, the symptoms, and what all communities can do to keep safe as this virus spreads.

As monkeypox continues to spread, we are learning more about the disease and its debilitating symptoms. After initially having a fever, cough, and fatigue, among other mild symptoms, those with monkeypox develop lesions on their skin that can be incredibly painful and sometimes take weeks to go away.  While monkeypox can infect anyone, the majority of the cases in the U.S. have been among men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men, and people who identify as transgender.  There are concerns that the communities will be stigmatized, as well as debates on what the messaging about the disease should be.  Joining us to discuss these issues are two guests whose social media activism have amassed millions of views in their efforts to educate people about monkeypox:  Matt Ford, an actor and writer who documented his experience on TikTok, which has nearly 1.5 million views; and Dr. Carlton Thomas, who creates health and wellness content for the LGBTQIA+ community and has treated patients with monkeypox.

TRANSCRIPT

TONIGHT, THE NEW YORK CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MONKEYPOX STATE OF EMERGENCY AND VACCINE SHORTAGE.

THEN A PATIENT AND A DOCTOR JOIN US TO SHARE WHAT MONKEYPOX LOOKS LIKE AND FEELS LIKE WITH A WARNING, THE IMAGES ARE GRAPHIC.

THAT AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪ ♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY -- ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

NEW YORK STATE AND CITY HAVE BOTH DECLARED STATES OF EMERGENCY OVER THE CONTINUED SPREAD OF MONKEYPOX.

NEW YORK HAS BECOME THE EPICENTER OF OVER 1,000 CONFIRMED CASES IN NEW YORK CITY ALONE.

CONFUSION REGARDING WHO CAN GET MONKEYPOX, WHAT THE SYMPTOMS ARE AND THE CURRENT LACK OF AVAILABLE VACCINES HAVE ALL LEFT NEW YORKERS FEELING ON EDGE AND WONDERING IF THIS MAY LEAD TO YET ANOTHER PANDEMIC.

JOINING US NOW TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS ABOUT MONKEYPOX AND TELL US HOW WE CAN BEST PROTECT OURSELVES FROM IT IS DR. ASHWIN VASSAN WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE AND WE'RE TLIETED TO HAVE HIM HERE WITH US.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

LET'S TURN THIS INTO A PLED CAL SCHOOL TEACHING CLASS IF WE CAN.

I HAVE A SERIES OF QUESTIONS AND LET ME THROW THEM AT YOU AND GET ANSWERS LEAR FOR OUR VIEWERS.

LET'S START OFF WITH THE DISEASE ITSELF.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR?

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION, AND I'M GLAD WE CAN TAKE THE TIME TO DO THIS METHODICALLY, MONKEYPOX, MPX, AS WE'RE CALLING IT IS AN ORTHOPOX VIRUS AND RELATED, BUT NOT THE SAME AS SMALLPOX.

AS THE PUBLIC MIGHT KNOW, SMALLPOX HAS BEEN ERADICATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH THROUGH GLOBAL VACCINATION EFFORTS.

SMALLPOX WAS DISCOVERED MOSTLY IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL AFRICA IN THE 1970s AND HAS BEEN ENDEMIC IN THOSE REGIONS, BUT WE HAVE NEVER SEEN WIDESPREAD CASES OUTSIDE OF THE REGION.

THE SYMPTOMS THAT PEOPLE USUALLY ASSOCIATE WITH THAT ENDEMIC VERSION IS WIDESPREAD LESIONS ACROSS THE BODY, FEVER, SWOLLEN GLANDS AND FLU-LIKE ILLNESS ASK IN THE MAIN, THIS IS A NON-FATAL CONDITION AND MOST PEOPLE HAVE SELF-RESOLVING SYMPTOMS THOUGH THEY CAN BE PRETTY SIGNIFICANT SCARRING AND DISFIGURATION THAT RESULTS FROM IT.

NOW THIS IS AN OLD VIRUS AND ITS ENTERED A NEW POPULATION AND FRANKLY, IT'S DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTING THE SOCIAL AND SEXUAL NETWORKS OF GAY MEN.

MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN, AND WE ARE SEEING SYMPTOMS THAT ARE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT AND MIGHT BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ROUTE OF TRANSMISSION WHICH IS THROUGH CLOSE SKIN TO SKIN AND SEXUAL CONTACT.

SO INSTEAD OF WIDESPREAD LESIONS AROUND THE BODY, WE'RE SEEING MORE LESIONS IN THE ANAL AND GENITAL REGION AS WELL AS LESIONS IN THE GROIN AS WELL AS PEOPLE WHO ARE GETTING MORE WIDESPREAD DISSEMINATED LESIONS AND WE'RE STILL SEEING THE FLU-LIKE ILLNESS AND THE SWOLLEN GLANDS AND THE OVERALL MALAISE ASSOCIATED WITH IT AND FOR THE THOUSANDS OF CASES NOW THAT WE'RE SEEING AROUND THE WORLD, THE VAST MAJORITY ARE SELF-LIMITED AND THOUGH THEY CAN BE EXTRAORDINARILY PAINFUL AND EXTRAORDINARILY UNCOMFORTABLE.

YOU TALK ABOUT SKIN TO SKIN TRANSMISSION AND WHY THAT CLUSTER, LET'S CALL THEM, IS BECOMING SO SUSCEPTIBLE TO IT.

ARE THERE OTHER MEANS OF TRANSMISSION THAT WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT?

YEAH.

RIGHT NOW THE PRINCIPAL MODE OF TRANSMISSION IS CLOSE, PROLONGED SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT.

IT COULD BE WITH A LESION OR BROKEN SKIN AND IT COULD BE WITH A LESION AND SKIN WITH MICROABRASIONS.

WHAT WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CASUAL BRUSHING BY OR SHAKING HANDS OR A QUICK HUG.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CLOSE, PROLONGED, SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT.

WE ALSO KNOW IT CAN PASS IN SYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE THROUGH RESPIRATORY DROPLETS AND THAT IS HEAVY DROPLETS FROM BREATHING OR COUGHING, FACE TO FACE, AGAIN FOR PROLONGED PERIODS.

NOT AIRBORNE TRANSMISSION.

SO NOT IN A ROOM OR WALKING THROUGH GRAND CENTRAL STATION.

THAT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT HERE IN TERMS OF DROPLETS.

DEFINITELY NOT AND, LOOK, THERE'S AN INCREASING BODY OF EVIDENCE THAT WE'RE FINDING THE PRESENCE OF THE ORTHOPOX MPX VIRUS IN BODILY FLUIDS LIKE SALIVA, SEEMEN AND BLOOD.

NOT SURPRISING, BUT WHAT WE ARE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IS WHETHER IT IS FORMALLY A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED ILLNESS MEANING THE PASSAGE OF BODILY FLUIDS THAT ARE INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS ARE CAUSING INFECTION EVER ANOTHER UNINFECTED PERSON, THERE IS SUSPICION OF THIS, BUT REFRAINING FROM SEXUAL CONTACT REDUCES THE RISK OF GETTING MPX, MONKEYPOX OR TRANSMITTING IT.

WHO RIGHT NOW, LET'S SHIFT THE FOCUS THE VACCINE AND WHO RIGHT NOW ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE VACCINE AND WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO GET IT IN NEW YORK CITY RIGHT NOW?

IN NEW YORK CITY WE ARE DISTRIBUTING THE GENEOS VACCINE AND THAT'S A TWO-DOSE REGIMEN APPROVED BY THE FDA TO ALL HIGH-RISK INDIVIDUALS THAT IS MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN OR TRANS PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD MULTIPLE AND/OR ANONYMOUS SEXUAL PARTNERS IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS AND WE ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE THESE ARE THE PEOPLE MOST AT RISK OF GETTING OR TRANSMITTING THE ORTHOPOX MPX VIRUS.

THE OTHER GROUP THAT'S ELIGIBLE IS PEOPLE WITH UNDERLYING DEFICIENCY BECAUSE WE THINK THAT THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE MOST AT RISK OF HAVING A SEVERE OUTCOME SHOULD THEY BE INFECTED WITH MPX.

SO THAT'S WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE VACCINE NOW IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF EXTREMELY CONSTRAINED SUPPLY.

IF WE HAD MORE SUPPLY WE COULD THINK OF A MORE LIBERAL APPROACH TO VACCINATION AND WE DON'T HAVE THE SUPPLY NOW.

DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE SUPPLY EXPANDING SOME TIME SOON?

NEW YORK CITY IS THE EPICENTER OF THE OUTBREAK HERE IN THE UNITED STATES.

WE REPRESENT MORE THAN 25% OF ALL THE CASES IN THE COUNTRY AND WE NEED TO BE GETTING VACCINES PROPORTIONATE TO THAT IMPACT AND THUS FAR WE HAVEN'T YET SEEN THAT.

NEW YORKERS CAN GET VACCINATED AT A SERIES OF MASS VACCINATION CLINICS THAT ARE STANDING UP AND OUR BRICK AND MORTAR SEXUAL HEALTH CLINICS THAT WE HAVE THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AS WELL AS PARTNERS IN NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HOSPITALS AND PUBLIC HOSPITAL SYSTEMS AND WE'LL BE INCREASINGLY BUILDING MORE ACCESS TO THE VACCINE AS WE GET MORE.

THIS IS ALSO WHY NEW YORK HAS BEEN OUT IN FRONT WITH A ONE-DOSE VACCINATIONS STRATEGY.

OF COURSE, WE AGREED WITH THE FDA THAT TWOS DOES IS IDEAL, BUT AS WE LEARNED WITH COVID IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET SHOTS IN ARMS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

SO ALL OF THE DOSES THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE ARE BEING USED AS SINGLE DOSES.

I KNOW YOU HAVE SAID IN THE PAST YOU'D LIKE TO SEE THIS NAME CHANGED FROM MONKEYPOX.

VERY QUICKLY, IF YOU COULD TELL ME WHY?

LOOK, I DESCRIBED THAT MONKEYPOX IS AN OLD VIRUS THAT HAS ITS ROOTS IN AFRICA.

IT WAS DISCOVERED BY, YOU KNOW, WESTERN SCIENTISTS IN THAT ENVIRONMENT AND IN PUBLIC HEALTH WE KNOW THAT THERE'S A LONG HISTORY OF THE LANGUAGE WE USE AND THE NAMES WE GIVE TO CONDITIONS AS POTENTIALLY ENABLING OR STIGMATIZING AND THIS ISN'T JUST A QUESTION OF LANGUAGE AND WHAT I THINK IS POLITICALLY CORRECT OR WHAT YOU THINK IS POLITICALLY CORRECT.

THIS IS ABOUT SAVING LIVES AND STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION INCLUDING THE LANGUAGE WE USE PUSHES PEOPLE INTO THE SHADOWS AND CAUSES THEM TO DELAY SEEKING CARE AND CAN WORSEN LIVES AND SAVE LIVES IF WE DON'T ADDRESS IT.

IT'S SOMETHING TO KEEP IN MIND.

VERY IMPORTANT.

DR. ROSSUM, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HELPING US UNDERSTAND.

WE'LL TALK TO YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

YOU BE WELL NOW.

THANKS SO MUCH.

♪♪ ♪♪

> THE TOTAL NUMBER OF MONKEYPOX CASES IN THE UNITED STATES HAS SURPASSED 5,000 WITH OVER ONE-FIFTH OF THOSE CASES BEING FOUND RIGHT HERE IN NEW YORK AND WHILE THE SYMPTOMS MIGHT VARY THEY ALMOST ALWAYS INCLUDE SKIN LESIONS THAT COULD BE SO PAINFUL THEY LEAVE PATIENTS UNABLE TO DO EVERYDAY TASKS LIKE SLEEP OR USE THE BATHROOM WITHOUT EXTREME DISCOMFORT AND A PRESCRIPTION FOR PAINKILLERS.

SCIENCE SAYS THAT ANYONE CAN GET OR TRANSMIT MONKEYPOX, BUT THE CURRENT REPORTED CASES ARE ALMOST ENTIRELY COMING FROM MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH OTHER MEN CAUSING SOME DEBATE ON WHETHER THE PROPER MESSAGING OR WHAT THE PROPER MESSAGING SHOULD BE ABOUT THE DISEASE.

SO TONIGHT, WE'RE JOINED BY TWO MEN WHO HAVE FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE ON JUST HOW SERIOUS OF A DISEASE MONKEYPOX IS.

NOW FIRST I'D LIKE TO WELCOME TO THE SHOW MATT FORD.

MATT IS AN ACTOR AND WRITER WHO HAD MONKEYPOX AND HAS SINCE RECOVERED.

MATT, WELCOME TO 'METRO FOCUS.'

THANK YOU.

I APPRECIATE YOU HAVING ME.

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO WELCOME DR. CARLTON THOMAS OR DR.

CARLTON AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW HIM ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

DR. CARLTON IS A GASTROENTEROLOGIST OR GI DOCTOR AND HE HAS BEEN EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT MONKEYPOX ON-LINE FOR MONTHS.

DR. CARLTON, IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON.

IT'S MY PLEASURE TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER, I WANT US TO TAKE A QUICK LOOK AT A VIRAL VIDEO THAT MATT POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA SHOWING JUST SOME OF HIS MONKEYPOX SYMPTOMS.

YOU CAN SEE THESE HERE ON MY FACE THESE ARE, THANKFULLY, HEALING THE FASTEST, AND I HAVE THESE ON MY ARMS AND HANDS THAT YOU CAN SEE.

THEY'RE REALLY NOT CUTE.

I HAVE ONE ON MY TUMMY HERE.

THOSE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE ONES ON MY BODY.

IN TOTAL I COUNTED 25 AND THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE MORE SENSITIVE AREAS THAT TEND TO BE THE MOST PAINFUL AS IN IT WAS SO PAINFUL I HAD TO GO TO MY DOCTOR TO GET PAINKILLERS JUST TO BE ABLE TO GO TO SLEEP.

DR. CARLTON, I WANT TO START WITH YOU BY GIVING US A QUICK DEFINITION OF WHAT EXACTLY IS MONKEYPOX?

MONKEYPOX IS A VIRAL INFECTION OF THE ORTHOPOX FAMILY AND IT IS MOST COMMONLY USUALLY FOUND IN CENTRAL AND WEST AFRICA AND IT IS A ZOONOTIC DISEASE WHERE AN ANIMAL PASSES IT TO A HUMAN.

THE AFRICAN VARIANTS VARY IN THEIR SEVERITY AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN ONE HAS UP TO A 10% DEATH RATE.

THE ONE ON THE WEST AFRICAN SIDE IS ABOUT A 1% TO 3% DEATH RATE.

WE ARE LUCKY IN THIS OUTBREAK THAT THE FATALITY RATE HAS BEEN MUCH LOWER THAN THESE NUMBERS RIGHT NOW.

SO THIS VIRUS HAS CHANGED RECENTLY WITH THE SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT AMONG PEOPLE.

IT'S SPREAD THROUGH CONTACT WITH LESIONS WHICH HAVE SECRETIONS WITH HIGH AMOUNTS OF VIRAL PARTICLES.

SO IT'S A SKIN TO SKIN INFECTION.

NOUP WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW IS BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT WITH SEXUAL ACTIVITY, WE ARE SEEING A HUGE OUTBREAK IN THE MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THIS OUTBREAK REALLY STARTED WHAT WE BELIEVE IN EUROPE BACK IN APRIL/MAY IN BATHHOUSES IN THE EUROPE -- PARTICULARLY I THINK GRAND CANARIA IS WHERE THIS HAPPENED AND WHY IT'S GOING THROUGH THE GAY COMMUNITY SO FREQUENTLY RIGHT NOW IS BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE WENT TO OTHER PLACES THAT WERE HIGH GAY METRO AREAS LIKE BERLIN, LONDON, MADRID, BARCELONA AND THEN HAD SEX WITH PEOPLE IN THOSE LOCATIONS AND THEN WITH GAY PRIDES HAPPENING ALL ACROSS THE WORLD RIGHT NOW IN MAY AND JUNE THERE WAS A SPREAD -- KIND OF A CROSS POLLINATION ALL OVER THE WORLD BECAUSE JUNE IS GAY PRIDE MONTH AND A LOT OF BIG FESTIVALS AND EVENTSES WERE HAPPENING AND A LOT OF CIRCUIT DANCE PARTIES AND A LOT OF CLOSE SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT AND A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY FOR MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN TO HAVE SEX WITH MEN.

THIS IS HOW THIS OUTBREAK HAS REALLY SPREAD ACROSS THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE HORRIBLE TIMING OF PRIDE MONTH.

OKAY.

SO WITH ALL OF THAT IN MIND, MATT, I WANT TO GO TO -- AND JUST GET SOME OF YOUR PERSONAL STORY.

FIRST OF ALL, WHAT HAD YOU HEARD OR WERE YOU EVEN AWARE OF MONKEYPOX BEFORE YOU CONTRACTED THE VIRUS AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF GETTING DIAGNOSED LIKE?

YEAH.

SO I HAD HEARD ABOUT MONKEYPOX BEFORE I GOT IT.

I'D SEEN HEADLINES ABOUT THE UK OUTBREAK OR THE EUROPE OUTBREAK AND THAT IT WAS STARTING TO SPREAD TO THE U.S., BUT I DIDN'T TAKE IT ALL THAT SERIOUSLY, TO BE HONEST.

IT SEEMED LIKE SOMETHING ON THE ETHER THAT MAYBE I SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT AT SOME POINT, BUT AT THAT POINT I DIDN'T KNOW ANYBODY WHO HAD GOTTEN IT.

IT DIDN'T SEEM THAT IT WAS IN ANY NETWORKS THAT I WAS PLUGGED INTO.

THAT OBVIOUSLY CHANGED VERY QUICKLY.

ON FRIDAY I HAD A CALL FROM A FRIEND THAT I HAD SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT SAYING I WAS EXPOSED AND I HAD LESIONS ALL OVER MY BODY, 25 AND I WAS FORTUNATE IN THAT I WAS ABLE TO GET A SOMEWHAT SPEEDY TEST AND I GOT THE CALL ON A FRIDAY AND I WAS ABLE TO GET SWABBED ON THE FOLLOWING MONDAY AND THAT CAME BACK POSITIVE FOUR DAYS LATER AND THE FOLLOWING FRIDAY.

THE WEEK AFTER I'D BEEN EXPOSED OR LEARNED I HAD EXPOSED I HAD A POSITIVE, CONFIRMED TEST.

AND FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE, WE DID SEE A SHORT VIDEO, LIKE I SAID WHERE URN EXPLAINING WHAT IT WAS LIKE, BUT OVERALL NOW THAT YOU'VE BEEN CLEARED OF THE VIRUS HOW DEBILITATING WAS IT FOR YOU?

EXTREMELY.

IT WAS EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL.

I'M FORTUNATE THAT I CAN WORK FROM HOME, BUT EVEN THEN IT WAS SO PAINFUL SOME DAYS THAT I WAS BARELY ABLE TO LEAVE MY BED.

THERE WERE MULTIPLE NIGHTS I WAS UNABLE TO SLEEP AT ALL DUE TO THE PAIN AND I HAD TO BE PRESCRIBED PAINKILLERS JUST TO BE ABLE TO GO TO SLEEP.

I'VE HAD COVID TWICE BEFORE THIS, AND I'VE TOLD EVERYBODY WHO HAS ASKED IT'S A THOUSAND TIMES WORSE THAN THAT FOR ME.

I HAD PRETTY MILD CASES OF COVID AND ALTHOUGH THIS ISN'T FATAL AT LEAST IN THIS OUTBREAK ANECDOTALLY FROM WHAT WE'RE SEEING, IT WAS A THOUSAND TIMES WORSE FOR ME.

DR. CARLTON, BASED ON EVERYTHING THAT YOU'VE HEARD FROM MATT.

DOES THAT SOUND TYPICAL OF MOST PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCE AND SECONDLY, DO WE KNOW IF THERE ARE LONG TERM ISSUES ONCE YOU HAVE THE VIRUS IN YOUR BODY?

COULD YOUR BODY CLEAR IT OR DOES IT HAVE THE POSSIBILITY OF LINGERING LIKE WE HEAR ABOUT SOME OTHER VIRUSES?

THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION.

THE BEGINNING PART OF MATT'S STORY IS CLASSIC.

FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS, FEVERS, CHILLS, NIGHT SWEATS AND LYMPH NODE SWELLING AND THE LESIONS ARE MORE OF A CENTRIFUGAL RASH MEANING THEY'RE ON YOUR FACE, YOUR HANDS, YOUR ARMS, YOUR LEGS AND ALSO WITH MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN THEY TEND TO OCCUR IN PLACES WHERE SEX OCCURS.

SO ON THE GENITALS, IN THE ANAL AREA.

THE ANAL LESIONS ARE THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE.

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THESE LESIONS THAT TEND TO CAUSE PAIN THAT HAS BEEN DESCRIBED ONE AS A SHARD OF GLASS CORKSCREWING UP YOUR BOTTOM RELENTLESSLY FOR FIVE TO SEVEN DAYS.

ANOTHER ONE SAID IT WAS LIKE A POTATO PEELER GOING UP AND DOWN THROUGH YOUR RECTUM CONSTANTLY.

IN ADDITION TO THE LYMPH NODES AND THE RASH THAT HAPPENS, THE RASH LOOKS ALMOST LIKE A CHICKEN POX RASH, IT'SES HAVIC LAR MEANING IT HAS PUS IN THERE AND THAT'S THE HIGHLY INFECTIOUS MATERIAL AND WITH THE PAIN NG IN THE RECTUM I'VE BEEN FINDING THROUGH ANECDOTAL REPORTS ONLINE THAT GABBA PINTON HAS BEEN TREMENDOUSLY HELPFUL FOR PEOPLE.

I'VE HAD PEOPLE SAY I GOT ON THAT GABBA PINTON AND WITHIN 24 HOURS MY PAIN WAS DOWN 50% TO 75%. THAT'S NOT HELPFUL FOR EVERYONE, BUT THE INITIAL OUTBREAK RECOMMENDATION WAS ALTERNATE TYLENOL AND IBUPROFEN WHICH MATT WILL ATTEST TO WAS LAUGHABLE.

YEAH.

I WISH I'D HAD THE NERVE MEDICATION THAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER AND I WOULD HAVE GONE FOR THAT.

THANK YOU.

THIS REALLY REMINDS ME OF THE EARLY HIV EPIDEMIC IN THAT ALTHOUGH THIS ISN'T FATAL LIKE EARLY HIV WAS, WE'RE LEARNING AS WE GO.

WE ARE LEARNING WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T WORK AND MY JOB HAS BEEN ONLINE HAS BEEN TO TALK TO HUNDREDS OF GAY MEN WHO HAVE HAD THIS ILLNESS AND WHO ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING IT AND FIND OUT WHAT'S WORKING AND NOT WORKING AND COLLATING IT TOGETHER ON MY INSTAGRAM PAGE.

I WANT TO BUILD ON THAT, DR.

CARLTON, BECAUSE WHEN YOU MENTIONED, OF COURSE, SKIN TO SKIN CONTAC, THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF THE VIRUS SHOWING UP IN OTHER POPULATIONS INCLUDING TWO CASES IN PEDIATRICS AND SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HOW THIS VIRUS IS TRANSMITTED, EXCUSE ME, WHAT ARE THINGS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE OF?

DO WE NEED TO BE TREATING THIS THE WAY THAT WE TREATED THE COVID-19 VIRUS?

WHAT ARE THINGS THAT THE ENTIRE POPULATION SHOULD BE AWARE OF?

AGAIN, THIS IS A SKIN TO SKIN CONTACTS ILLNESS.

SO THIS IS NOT PURELY AN STI.

IT'S NOT COMPLETELY DEFINED AS AN INFECTION AND WHILE IT CAN BE TRANSMITTED IT CAN BE TRANSMITTED BY SKIN TO SKIN CON -- AND IF YOU'VE SEEN KIDS ON THE PLAYGROUND, THEY'RE ALL OVER EACH OTHER.

IF ONE KID GETS IT IT WILL SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE WITH SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT.

SO YOU WANT TO LOOK OUT FOR KIDS WHO ARE SICK AND HAVE ALMOST A CHICKEN POX-TYPE SCENARIO WITH FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS AND THE RASH THAT HAPPENS AND YOU'LL WANT TO WIPE DOWN SURFACES WITH LYSOL AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET CRAZY LIKE THE EARLY DAYS OF THE COVID WHEN WE WERE WASHING OUR FRUITS AND THE OTHER GOOD THING ABOUT THIS IS IN GENERAL, IT DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE HIGH RISK AND AIRBORNE SECRETIONS.

THERE ARE SECRETIONS IN THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, BUT IT TENDS TO BE A PROLONGED CONTACT THING ON THE RESPIRATORY STANDPOINT LIKE PROLONGED KISSING AND REALLY, REALLY CLOSE FACE TO FACE.

SO IT'S NOT AS EXTREME AS THE EARLY COVID PRECAUTIONS.

IT'S MORE OF A CONTACT THING.

BE CAREFUL ABOUT EXPOSED SKIN AND HOW YOU HAVE SKIN TO SKIN.

DON'T GO TO A DANCE PARTY AND BE SKIN TO SKIN AND BE KISSY AND HUGGIE WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU DON'T KNOW.

LOOK OUT FOR RASHES AND LESIONS.

USE THOSE SORTS OF COMMON SENSE PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

AND ONE MORE QUESTION, DR.

CARLTON, IS IT POSSIBLE TO, PERHAPS, BE CONTAGIOUS BEFORE YOU START SHOWING SYMPTOMS?

THE MESSAGING HAS BEEN THAT YOU'RE NOT CONTAGIOUS IF YOU'RE NOT SHOWING SYMPTOMS, BUT I THINK THERE'S ALWAYS A WINDOW WHERE THE VIRUS IS RAMPING UP IN YOUR SYSTEM SO THAT IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE TRUE IN THE 24 TO 36-HOUR WINDOW.

SO THAT'S WHY I REALLY WANT TO URGE CAUTION WITH PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO THE LEVEL OF CONTACT.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CAUTION, OF COURSE, THERE ALSO IS THE CAUTION THAT'S NOW BEING DISCUSSED AROUND MESSAGING AND MATT, I WANT TO GO BACK TO YOU AND GET YOUR TAKE ON SINCE THE NUMBER ARE STARTING TO SHOW UP IN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE SEX WITH MEN IN THAT SOME PEOPLE WILL TREAT THIS AS AN STI ALTHOUGH DR. CARLTON SAID IT IS, IN FACT, NOT, BUT WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE WAY OF THE MESSAGING AROUND THIS VIRUS HAS BEEN HANDLED?

I THINK IT HAS BEEN VERY MIXED AND THAT'S LED TO A GOOD AMOUNT OF CONFUSION, I WOULD SAY.

I'VE BEEN PRETTY CANDID ABOUT THIS, SPEAKING ABOUT IT.

I'VE NOTICED TWO CAMPS IN HOW THIS HAS BEEN HANDLED AND ONE WANTS TO EMPHASIZE THAT ANYBODY CAN GET THIS WHICH IS TRUE.

IT IS POTENTIALLY SPREADABLE TO ANYONE AND THE ENTIRE POPULATION SHOULD BE CONCERNED.

THERE SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER CAMP THAT WANTS TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS IS PREDOMINANTLY AFFECTING MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN IN A STUDY THAT JUST CAME OUT IN THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.

THAT TENDS TO AFFECT MESSAGING IN TERMS OF WHO SHOULD BE MOST CONCERNED.

I'M SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE.

MULTIPLE THINGS CAN BE TRUE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THIS IS PREDOMINANTLY AFFECTING QUEER MEN AND THAT COMMUNITY SHOULD BE PRIOR TIESING CURBING THE UPDATE WHILE IT'S SPREADING THROUGH OTHER COMMUNITIES AND YES, ANYONE CAN GET THIS BEYOND SEXUAL MEANS.

YES, THIS IS BEHAVING LIKE AN STI AND EVERYBODY SHOULD BE CONCERNED WHILE RECOGNIZING THAT, IN MY OPINION, THE GENERAL POPULATION IS LESS AT RISK THAN THE QUEER COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW.

I AGREE WITH MATT.

YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD RIGHT NOW.

WHILE IT IS NOT TECHNICALLY AN SDI AND BEING RAMPANTLY SPREAD IN THE QUEER COMMUNITY AND ESSENTIALLY, WE NEED TO FOCUS OUR ENERGIES IN THE QUEER COMMUNITY ON VACCINATION AND CURBING ACTIVITY THAT IS HIGH RISK LIKE BATHHOUSES, LIKE CIRCUIT PARTIES AND LIKE ANY RANDOM SEXUAL ACTIVITY UNTIL YOU CAN GET VACCINATED AND UNTIL THIS THING CALMS DOWN A BIT.

SO THERE ARE THINGS THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN DO THAT PROVIDE VACCINES WHICH CAN BE FRUSTRATING BECAUSE IT IS SO POORLY AVAILABLE AND IT REALLY IS SO RANDOM WHERE IT'S AVAILABLE.

LUCKILY, IN NEW YORK CITY THERE'S BEEN THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF VACCINES GIVEN AS PREVENTIVE -- AS A PREVENTIVE MEASURE.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE WHOLE ROLLOUT IS IT'S BEEN LEFT UP TO LOCAL JURISDICTIONS ON HOW TO GIVE VACCINES AND IN NEW YORK, L.A., SAN FRANCISCO AND MIAMI PEOPLE ARE GETTING IT PREVENTATIVELY.

WHEN YOU CAN FIND A VACCINE WHICH IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT.

IN PLACES LIKE TEXAS THEY GOT SUCH A SMALL SUPPLY FOR THE TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN TEXAS, THEY'RE ONLY GIVING IT IF YOU'VE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WHO HAS MONKEYPOX AND THERE'S A HUGE OUTBREAK IN TEXAS AND THERE'S A CIRCUIT PARTY IN DADDY LAND WHICH HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE GOT INFECTED AND I WENT ON THE NEWS THERE TWO WEEKS AGO TELLING TEXAS WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN AND YOU NEED TO GET ON THE BALL WITH VACCINATIONS AND NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

WELL, WE'RE ALMOST RUNNING OUT OF TIME, BUT I DO JUST VERY QUICKLY ON THE VACCINE, THIS ISN'T, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, SPECIFICALLY A MONKEYPOX VACCINE.

THIS IS A VACCINE THAT CAN PREVENT THE MONKEYPOX VIRUS, CORRECT?

THE NEW VACCINE FROM GENEOS IS AIMED AT MONKEYPOX/SMALLPOX.

SO YES, IT'S MORE GEARED TOWARD MONKEYPOX.

ALL RIGHT.

LASTLY AND THIS IS QUICKLY TO BOTH OF YOU, YES OR NO, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT STIGMA BEING ATTACHED TO THIS VIRUS?

DR. CARLTON, I'LL GO TO YOU AND THEN MATT VERY QUICKLY.

YES, I'M CONCERNED ABOUT STIGMA.

THE WAY SOCIAL MEDIA IS THESE DAYS I FOUND A LOT OF RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE VIDEOS WHO CLAIM THAT ANYONE WHO IS INFECTED GOT IT THROUGH SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND THEY'RE POINTING AT THESE CASE WES KIDS AS A SEXUAL CONTACT THING AND THAT'S SIMPLY NOT TRUE AND WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT OUR MESSAGING HERE AND THE STIGMA OF THIS THING AND IT COULD BE TO HARM THE QUEER COMMUNITY FOR THESE RIGHT-WING COMMUNITY AND SAME QUESTIONS, STIGMA?

YES, I HAD SOME REALLY CRUEL DMs THROWN MY WAY AND I WENT PUBLIC WITH MY STORY AND THERE'S AMPLE OPPORTUNITY FOR STIGMA TO TRY TO SHAME YOU AND THE MESSAGING CAN DO A GREAT DEAL WITH HELPING ME PREVENT THAT.

WELL, MATT FORD AND DR.

CARLTON THOMAS, I'D LIKE TO THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH FOR HAVING A VERY IMPORTANT AND FRANK CONVERSATION ABOUT MONKEYPOX.

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