Louisville Resident Shares Monkeypox Journey To Help Decrease Stigma - Gatous News

Louisville resident shares monkeypox journey to help decrease stigma

When he developed swollen lymph nodes, chills and nausea on Aug. 16, Luke Morrison thought he had a cold or the flu.

Two days later, he woke up “itching crazy.”

“I look in the mirror,” he said, and “I have a rash over my body.”

He went to the emergency room, where he was tested for monkeypox. Two days after that, the Louisville man got the call that he had in fact contracted the rare disease, which health experts have said represents a low risk to the general population.

“This is real and I just I never thought it would be me,” he said. “I really didn’t.”

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He’s sharing his story now to help decrease the stigma surrounding monkeypox and show that people can get it in a variety of ways. He’s seen comments online calling it a “gay disease,” he said, and: “it’s just … bigotry.”

“I want people to know … that you can get it from almost anyone, anywhere,” he said. “So I just want people to be careful … and just do their research.”

Men who have sex with men represent the majority of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but anyone can contract monkeypox through close contact with someone who has it – by touching things a patient touched, face-to-face contact and hugging and kissing. Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, per the CDC, although it can be spread through sex and other prolonged physical contact.

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