If you’re eligible for a monkeypox vaccine, please get one as soon as you are able

This article in the New York Times features people who had monkeypox. The disease is not to be trifled with:

It began as an odd-looking pimple, or perhaps as a weird rash, or maybe as a sudden wave of fatigue in the middle of a hot summer day. The doctor was stumped, or said it was not a big deal, or — just maybe — identified it right away: monkeypox.

New York City has been the epicenter of an outbreak of an old disease that has created new havoc. More than 18,000 cases have been identified across the United States, as of the end of August, and nearly 3,000 of them have been found in the city, mostly among men who have sex with men. Increased access to an effective antiviral medication called tecovirimat, or Tpoxx, and an effort to vaccinate thousands of people most at risk have led to eased symptoms for some.

But not for everyone: Infected lesions and other complications still land some patients in the hospital. Even those with mild cases are forced to isolate at home for weeks, away from family, friends and pets. Many who recover carry psychological wounds or face social stigma. 

Jeez, man, it’s just one outbreak after another, and this one — shades of 1984 — is stalking gay and bi men.

Except this time there is prevention and treatment available, though not available fast or widely enough as it should be. Let’s hope that changes.

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