A timeline of a photo of a rash patient goes viral.

As cases of monkeypox continue to rise around the world, some people who have been infected are sharing photos and videos on social media to help spread awareness of the symptoms, showing Being aware of what the rash can actually look like and educating others about the disease.

A man known as Silver Steel on social media posted a photo timeline on Instagram of how his monkey pox lesions grew over three weeks, which has since gone viral. (Steel was contacted for comment today but did not hear back.)

Related: As monkeypox outbreaks spread, these pictures can help you identify the symptoms.

The Houston, Texas resident contracted monkeypox in July, according to Instagram. Captioning the now-viral collage of selfies, Steele wrote: “My goal with this is not to make money, but to educate.”

Steele added, “Not everyone presents with symptoms in exactly the same way, but I’ve been told by more than one professional that my case is a ‘clinically perfect’ example and has been published in CDC manifestos and medical journals. I’m being used.”

It took seven to eight days for Steele to show symptoms after contracting the virus, Steele wrote in response to a comment on the Instagram post.

In another comment, Steele commented on feeling “nothing” in the affected area of ​​the face before the lesions appeared on July 10, and mentioned not feeling sick for five days after symptoms began. “On July 15th I had flu-like symptoms that lasted maybe 48 hours,” Steele wrote.

Steel lesions progressed from pimple-like patches to large, blistered lesions and crusted lesions, which were described as painful. By day 18, Steele’s lesions finally began to shrink. “The pink edges show it’s healing,” Steele said in a video updating viewers on July 28.

Related: How much risk are children in a monkeypox epidemic?

What are the common symptoms of monkey pox?

A classic case of monkeypox usually begins with a set of early flu-like symptoms (also called a prodrome), including fever, fatigue, malaise, headache, muscle aches, and chills. are, TODAY previously reported.

A rash usually appears within five days of those flu-like symptoms, but sometimes it can appear with or without flu-like symptoms, says Dr. Scott Roberts, associate professor of infection prevention and control. Medical Director. The Yale School of Medicine previously told TODAY. As in Steele’s case, many patients have also reported developing flu-like symptoms after the lesions.

Before the current outbreak, the rash usually started on the face and hands before spreading to the rest of the body. But studies on the current outbreak have shown that lesions around the anus, genitals, mouth and throat (as well as other parts of the body) often occur first and do not always spread to other parts of the body.

The rash itself usually starts as a flat, red rash that turns into a firm, raised bump that looks like a blister or rash, TODAY previously reported. Monkeypox lesions are often described as deep-seated, well-circumscribed and umbilical, meaning there is a dimple in the middle of the lesion, says Dr. Paul Adamson, MD, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Angeles, assistant clinical professor of medicine, said today.

The sores then fill with pus or fluid and eventually crust or scab up and fall off, which can take up to four weeks. “It’s basically contagious as long as you have the rash, until you develop a new layer of skin,” Adamson said.

“If it’s hard to see, imagine what it’s like?”

The graphic selfies posted by Steele reveal the often painful and isolating reality of the disease. “If it’s hard to see, imagine what it’s like?” Steele said in another video posted on Instagram on July 25. In the caption, Steele encouraged people to be cautious at crowded events and get vaccinated.

Currently, two vaccines are used in the United States to protect against smallpox and monkeypox, but supplies are limited and they are not available to the general public.

Related: Are you eligible for the monkeypox vaccine?

Steele ended the video by asking people to have compassion. “These are not people who deserved to get the virus. They just got it. … If you know someone who has it, get in touch. I know there are a lot of people who have it. Times feel lonely,” Steele said.

Other monkeypox sufferers have also shared photos and videos of it on social media to spread the word about what the symptoms can be like and what the recovery process entails.

Maxim Sapoznikov, a creative producer and fashion blogger based in Milan, Italy, spoke about being infected with monkeypox in June. In a TikTok posted on June 26 that has garnered more than 12.1 million views, Sapozhnikov shared photos of what looked like “pimples,” as Sapozhnikov called them, but turned out to be monkey pox.

“At first I was afraid to talk about it, but then I decided I wanted to help people who are going through #monkeypox,” Sapozhnikov wrote in the caption.

In an interview with SkyNews, Sapozhnikov recalled feeling sick and developing a fever that lasted two days before noticing two smallpox-like lesions.

“I think social awareness is more important than any stigma. No disease is shameful,” Sapoznikov wrote in the caption of another video on Instagram.

A TikTok user who goes by the social media names Josh Jones and @ava__monet posted a clip three days ago showing monkeypox lesions a week later, which has since garnered more than 3.1 million views. have done

Pointing to the monkey’s wounds all over his chest and face, Jones said the spots are finally starting to fade and will take another two weeks to heal. “I feel so much better since I’ve been taking TPOXX,” Jones added. (TPOXX, or tecovirimat, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2018 to treat smallpox, which belongs to the same family of viruses as monkeypox, in patients with severe disease or at high risk of developing severe disease. can be used for (to the Food and Drug Administration).

Another monkeypox patient who took to social media to share his journey and spread awareness is Joshua Wright, a personal trainer who posted a TikTok on July 9 showing examples of lesions in various stages of development. are

Wright first shows the lesion on the leg in an early stage of development: “It looks like a bug bite slash pimple. … It’s also starting to have a little red circle in the center,” Wright said in the video. Pointing to a facial lesion that was further accompanied, Wright pointed to the formation of a “white head”.

Related: I currently have monkey pox, and the symptoms are so painful that I am almost passed out.

Finally, Wright pointed to a wound on the wrist that was swollen and appeared to be filled with fluid. “It will pop, (but) it won’t pop like a pimple,” Wright said, adding that the sore was painful but would soon go into a healing phase and the itching would go away. will be done

How is monkey pox spread?

Monkeypox is primarily spread through close, skin-to-skin contact, experts previously told TODAY. This can include sexual activity but also kissing, hugging, touching and other non-intimate direct contact. The virus can spread through an infected person’s wounds, rashes, bodily fluids, respiratory secretions or contaminated materials, such as bedding, clothes or towels.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms usually appear within three weeks of exposure to the virus. Monkeypox lesions can appear anywhere on the body or be isolated from the area where an infected person came into contact, Roberts previously told TODAY.

Anyone with a suspected case of monkeypox or exposure to it should contact their doctor or local health department to get tested.

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