Massachusetts man shares 'horrific' experience with monkeypox

Massachusetts man shares ‘horrific’ experience with monkeypox

A Massachusetts man who is one of 134 people in the state who have dealt with monkeypox thus far is sharing his story and struggle to get treatment for the virus.Brian McKenna said his symptoms started out small. What he thought was just a single pimple on his lip grew into three, and he ended up with a dozen just a few days later.”What happened to me was grotesque,” McKenna said. “My lesions had quadrupled. I then had them on my face and all along my neck.”McKenna’s doctor confirmed that he most likely had monkeypox and scheduled him to receive a vaccine, but that is when McKenna said navigating the health care system became an uphill battle.He said he was told that he was no longer eligible for the vaccine due to his symptoms, and then was told there was no treatment.”Asking the (Massachusetts) Department of Public Health, asking my (primary care physician): ‘How do I prevent more lesions?’ And I was told nothing,” McKenna said. “I just don’t think they were prepared.”McKenna was not satisfied with that answer and came to learn about the monkeypox treatment Tpoxx. He began demanding it but was again told no because he was told he was too mild. That is when McKenna sent doctors pictures of his lesions, and his treatment options suddenly changed.”The pictures told the story, and when they did get back to me, they said yes,” McKenna said.McKenna said his lesions healed almost immediately with Tpoxx.On Monday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency due to the continued spread of monkeypox. Adams’ move came three days after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency through Aug. 28 due to high monkeypox transmission rates. The states of Illinois and California also followed suit in declaring a state of emergency due to monkeypox.But thus far, the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts have yet to declare a public health emergency over monkeypox.Therefore, McKenna went public and shared his experience with monkeypox online in an effort to inform others about the virus.”Everybody needs to know about this Tpoxx treatment,” McKenna said. “By doing what I did, I helped a lot of people and at least something good came out of this horrific experience.”President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that FEMA’s Robert Fenton will serve as the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the current director of the CDC Division of HIV Prevention, will serve as the White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. The White House said Fenton and Daskalakis will lead the administration’s strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments.

A Massachusetts man who is one of 134 people in the state who have dealt with monkeypox thus far is sharing his story and struggle to get treatment for the virus.

Brian McKenna said his symptoms started out small. What he thought was just a single pimple on his lip grew into three, and he ended up with a dozen just a few days later.

“What happened to me was grotesque,” McKenna said. “My lesions had quadrupled. I then had them on my face and all along my neck.”

McKenna’s doctor confirmed that he most likely had monkeypox and scheduled him to receive a vaccine, but that is when McKenna said navigating the health care system became an uphill battle.

He said he was told that he was no longer eligible for the vaccine due to his symptoms, and then was told there was no treatment.

“Asking the (Massachusetts) Department of Public Health, asking my (primary care physician): ‘How do I prevent more lesions?’ And I was told nothing,” McKenna said. “I just don’t think they were prepared.”

McKenna was not satisfied with that answer and came to learn about the monkeypox treatment Tpoxx. He began demanding it but was again told no because he was told he was too mild. That is when McKenna sent doctors pictures of his lesions, and his treatment options suddenly changed.

“The pictures told the story, and when they did get back to me, they said yes,” McKenna said.

McKenna said his lesions healed almost immediately with Tpoxx.

On Monday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency due to the continued spread of monkeypox. Adams’ move came three days after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency through Aug. 28 due to high monkeypox transmission rates. The states of Illinois and California also followed suit in declaring a state of emergency due to monkeypox.

But thus far, the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts have yet to declare a public health emergency over monkeypox.

Therefore, McKenna went public and shared his experience with monkeypox online in an effort to inform others about the virus.

“Everybody needs to know about this Tpoxx treatment,” McKenna said. “By doing what I did, I helped a lot of people and at least something good came out of this horrific experience.”

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that FEMA’s Robert Fenton will serve as the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the current director of the CDC Division of HIV Prevention, will serve as the White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. The White House said Fenton and Daskalakis will lead the administration’s strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments.

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