American actor Matt Ford has become the first person ever with monkeypox infection to go public. In a series of tweets, Ford, a self-employed actor who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City, said the disease "sucks" as he is unable to "sleep through the night". He also blasted the US government for its slow response to the virus that has infected more than 142 people in the country.
"The government needs to pick up the pace on vaccines and testing. The slow response is pretty unacceptable," Ford said.
Ford said he was exposed to the virus via "skin-to-skin contact" and got the symptoms a week after he was infected in Los Angeles.
From "just a couple bumps", he developed "intense" "fever, chills, sweats, fatigue".
Once the flu-like symptoms died down, more "itchy and painful" spots appeared in various places on his body.
Ford's doctor advised him to take a swab culture test, which was sent to the Department of Public Health confirming him to test positive.
Ford, who describes himself as a "proud openly gay man", said that some people had reported mild infection, but "the exposure web I'm linked to has had some severe symptoms. I'm currently struggling to sleep through the night".
He also revealed getting spots in and around his 'underwear zone,' and later they spread across the rest of his body, including his face, arms, hands and abdomen, Buzzfeed reported.
In total, he developed 25 spots which began to "fill with puss" and became itchy.
Several - especially in the "sensitive area" - became so painful they left him unable to sleep at night without taking painkillers.
"I think in total I counted 25 and there are also some in more sensitive areas which tend to be the most painful. They're so painful that I had to go to my doctor to get painkillers just to be able to sleep, like really f****** painful," Ford was quoted as saying.
Ford also urged people to get vaccinated, even as the government plans to release 56,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine immediately in areas where monkeypox transmission rates are high, followed by an additional 240,000 doses in the coming weeks, according to federal health officials.
"I have monkeypox currently and this shit is absolutely no joke. Get vaccinated for it if you can and be careful, especially New Yorkers with Pride this weekend," Ford wrote on Twitter.