A Brazilian lawyer went viral on social media after telling details of how his days are going, and who contracted the virus monkey pox. Joao Pinheiro, 31, was taken to hospital on Monday (17), in Sao Paulo, for pain control. Since then, it has been dedicated to providing information to people who are often unaware of the disease.
At the end of his trip to Europe, he began to feel the first symptoms that he discovered a few days later, which was infection with the monkeypox virus, which has caused a global outbreak of more than 40,000 cases. One of the first signs of infection was fatigue and what he thought was a cold sore on his lip.
He was in Malta on the 5th of August, and he was still spending the weekend in Paris. The fatigue continued, but he did not interrupt the program in the French capital, he says in an interview with R7.
“I arrived in Paris very tired the next day, and I also thought that the exhaustion was due to the heat and the flight which was already at last. The canker sore started to hurt a lot, [a ponto] To disturb my luxury to eat. The pain didn’t need analgesia, but it was annoying.”
Joao, who is bisexual, even commented to his parents that it could be monkeypox, but he tried to convince himself otherwise.
“At that point, I thought it was probably something sexually transmitted. I only got involved with one person on the trip, and that person didn’t have anything. I thought it had to be nothing.”
In the current outbreak, transmission has been reported mainly through sexual contact, but can occur through any skin contact with a person with active lesions or even through clothing and bedding, for example.
His suspicions began to grow stronger when he returned to Brazil. He felt feverish and had another common symptom of monkeypox: swollen lymph nodes, which can be in the neck, behind the ear, under the arms, or in the groin.
“The day I was flying here, the knots in my neck were so sore, that I couldn’t turn my neck properly. The canker sores stopped hurting, and just looked a little rubbery.”
Look for a hospital in Sao Paulo and take the test in a private network – health plans still don’t cover the test. The positive result came the next day.
“The day the result came out, there was a wound on the finger, there was a wound in the mouth, one on the wrist and another on the leg. I thought it would be something milder. The next day, this mouth wound began to become very large, lost the appearance of ulcers and appeared In the form of a sore and a lot of pain. The pain was only getting worse.”
The lawyer went back to the emergency room and was given tramadol, an opioid used for pain relief. “They even suggested I take morphine, but they said that when I get home, I have to take the pain,” he recalls.
The pain in the lip wound peaked last weekend, when Joao recalls that he had been “about 48 hours in the fetal position in excruciating pain”.
“I couldn’t eat, I was crying and very sleepy. I ate very little and already took medicine and went back to sleep.”
On Twitter, Joao described the pain as “several shards of glass on my lips and pliers pressing on them”.
On Monday (15), he realized he couldn’t stay home any longer and headed to the emergency room at the Albert Einstein Israta Hospital. The orientation was hospitalization for pain control. Doctors treat it with morphine and corticosteroids (anti-inflammatories).
An antivirus called Tpoxx (Ticofermate) It was used in the United States. Brazil bought the drug, through the Pan American Health Organization, and got some treatments, but the drugs haven’t arrived yet. They should be intended for patients at risk of serious illness, such as immunocompromised individuals.
Lack of information
Despite receiving all possible medical assistance, the lawyer could not find information on the Internet to clarify the suspicions that arose about the disease.
“When I made a video on TikTok saying I had monkeypox, and even some kind of comedy video, about four or five people I knew were said to be. I had no idea who those people were. It started to bother me. Why was it hidden?”
It was then that he decided to post a new report on Twitter, but without major claims.
“I thought I was going to involve a few more people in the post, people who were really sick. And out of nowhere, these fallout came, I was amazed. There I saw that people were taking my report as their primary source of information, there were people I had no idea what this was like. Illness. I made sure to speak up and show my face. People get sick.”
Joao realized that most of the people who searched for him on social media – and sent pictures of the injuries – hadn’t even been tested.
“Obviously it was monkeypox because of the wounds, but people are out of shame, fear and lack of information [não procuraram fazer o exame]…there are people who didn’t even know they had a test.”
He noted that lack of knowledge is a problem, as there are those who can reduce monkeypox based on false information.
“This disease does not have a high fatality rate, but it is necessary to show that this is something ugly, that it hurts you, that it spoils your self-esteem, depending on your condition. It is not a pleasant disease, even if it is a mild case.. you will be full of pimples, full of stuff on your skin. This can affect a person’s self-esteem a lot. [lesões] The face was gone, they didn’t leave any marks.”
Bias is one of the concerns of many patients. Monkeypox has an epidemic profile in this time of dominance among men who have sex with men, but this does not mean – under any circumstances – that it is a disease limited to this or any other group.
In São Paulo, at least a dozen cases have been reported in children and adolescents, as well as two pregnant women. The idea that this disease is transmitted exclusively through sexual contact is a misconception.
“Sickness is closer than you think, it’s not in Europe, it’s not in the ghetto, it’s not in hell. The disease is in a lawyer, in a doctor, in a corporate environment in Faria Lima [região empresarial de São Paulo]… This disease that you contract through sex, through contact [de pele]as for poorly washed bedding – if you go to an Airbnb, and they don’t change the bedding, you get it,” warns Joao.
While passing on information to people who barely knew the disease, Joao also had to deal with the attacks. He recalls “horrific” messages, which indicated, for example, that the disease was associated with immoral behavior.
It is important to note that the world population under the age of 40 has practically not been vaccinated against smallpox – which was declared eradicated in the world in 1980 – and is therefore susceptible to infection with the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family (orthopoxvirus).
Individuals who have been vaccinated in the past are also not guaranteed that they will not develop the disease, although there are indications that they may develop milder cases.
Joao was still in the hospital on Thursday (18), the day he still had to take morphine. He was expected to return home on Friday.
I have monkeypox symptoms. What should I do? Clear this and other doubts
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