Italian fashion blogger Maxim Sapozhnikov found out about his monkeypox infection via short videos posted on Instagram, the photo and video sharing social networking service. Along with a two-part video, Sapozhnikov posted that he was initially unsure whether to share his infection on a public platform due to the fear of stigma. But as he found out about the condition "only thanks to Instagram", he wanted to raise awareness about the disease.
"@Doctor.Darien posted about monkeypox symptoms -- it was a random publication in my feed, but it made me stop and rethink the symptoms I had.
"I have #Monkeypox. I wasn't sure whether I should share about it in public. But I believe that social awareness is more important than any stigma. No illness is embarrassing," Sapozhnikov posted.
He said had he not seen the video, he would have just ignored his symptoms and "continued social life having no clue about the disease. Now I'm home, taking care of myself -- and 100 per cent safe for others!"
"I hope that my message will remind you that health and safety are the priority," Sapozhnikov said.
In the video, the blogger shared that he had experienced fever, diarrhoea and pimples on unusual parts of his body since falling ill.
"I can't believe it is happening to me. Honestly, it is hard to recognise at the beginning because the first symptoms could be that of a flu," Sapozhnikov said.
After falling ill, Sapozhnikov said he took a Covid test, which returned negative.
After the first two days of "headache and fever and a little bit of diarrhoea", he got a small pimple on his finger which later turned big. Later he saw another lesion on his collarbone and other parts of his body.
"Contrary to all prejudices, the disease does not choose sexual orientation," Sapozhnikov said, adding that the virus can spread through respiratory particles and touching items used by infected people.
To date, more than 5,000 monkeypox cases have been reported from 51 countries worldwide not endemic to the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of infections in Europe represents about 90 per cent of the global total, with Italy reporting about a 100 cases.