A Georgia woman who contracted monkey pox while working as a cashier said she “didn’t do anything sexual to get it.”
As of August 4, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 26,519 confirmed cases of monkeypox around the world, 7,102 of which were in the US.
Monkeypox cases remain concentrated within the gay community, among men who have sex with men. However, experts keep repeating that cases are not exclusive to the gay community — the virus spreads through direct, physical contact with an infected person, meaning anyone can get it.
One of those individuals is Camille Seaton, the first woman in Georgia to contract the virus. There have been more than 500 cases of monkey pox in Georgia, and WSB-TV reports that four of these are women.
Seaton is a cashier and believes she contracted the virus while at work, WSB-TV reported.
“I want you all to know that I didn’t do anything sexual to get this disease. This thing is spreading. It’s here,” Seaton told the news channel.
Seaton said she saw “bumps” on her face and initially thought it was acne. Monkeypox usually causes lesions all over the body.
Along with the lesions that developed on her face, Seaton experienced fatigue, headaches and chills, other common symptoms associated with monkey pox.
Then she decided to get tested.
“I was waiting for the results and it was positive. I had monkey pox,” Seatons told WSB-TV. Seaton is now in the “healing stages” and the lesions are “starting to crust”.
On August 4, the Biden administration declared monkeypox spreading to be a public health emergency.
Professor Eyal Leshem, infectious disease specialist and director of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Diseases at Sheba Medical Center, told News week that despite the monkey pox emergency, experts believe that no restrictions and mask mandates will be needed at this stage.
“Will we find this outbreak different from COVID in several ways? First, the mode of infection is close person-to-person contact, usually through skin contact with lesions that are inherently different from respiratory viruses like COVID,” Leshem said.
“We don’t think a blanket recommendation for respiratory warnings like masking will be implemented in this case, because you really don’t need the entire population to wear a mask to prevent transmission.
“What you need is rapid case identification and close identified contacts and quarantine in case lesions develop. And we need a lot of public health communication and messaging to reach the at-risk groups.”
Leshem said the state of emergency will help “harmonize” a response to the virus.
News week has contacted Seaton for comment.