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Monkeypox: Fashion blogger describes symptoms and what it’s like to have the virus

A fashion blogger has informed his followers what it is like to have monkeypox after catching the virus.

Maxim Sapozhnikov, who lives in Italy, said he was unsure about going public with his diagnosis due to fear of stigma.

But he wants to raise awareness because an Instagram post about the symptoms helped him catch the virus at an early stage.

The blogger said he has suffered from fever, diarrhea and pimples on unusual parts of his body since falling ill.

“I can’t believe this is happening to me,” Sapozhnikov said in a video.

More than 4,300 cases of monkeypox have been detected worldwide during the current outbreak.

Most patients experience only fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue. People with more severe illness may develop a rash and sores on the face and hands that may spread to other parts of the body.

The disease is endemic in parts of Africa, where people have been infected through animal bites and the virus generally does not spread among people.

But more than 40 countries where monkeypox is not usually present – mostly in Europe – have seen outbreaks this year.

Mr Sapozhnikov said he took a Covid test after falling ill, but it came back negative.

“Honestly, it’s hard to recognize at first because the first symptoms could be the flu,” he told his Instagram followers in a video.

Maxim Sapozhnikov shared his story of having monkeypox on social media

(Maxim Sapozhnikov/Instagram)

He added: “It’s headaches and fever and for me it was a bit of diarrhoea.”

The blogger said he spent the first two days with these symptoms. “On the third day, the fever disappeared and I have a small pimple on my finger. Now that’s big. But before, it was little,” he said.

He also pointed to another lesion on his collarbone which also started as a small pimple and said he has since noticed more of it all over his body.

Mr Sapozhnikov said he was unsure whether to talk about monkeypox first, with friends even advising against it.

But he is now publicizing the symptoms to help others identify infections.

But he told Sky News: “There shouldn’t be any embarrassment, there shouldn’t be any stigma, no matter where that person got the disease, no matter the reason for that disease.

Maxim Sapozhnikov showed pimple-like marks on his body to his Instagram followers

(Maxim Sapozhnikov/Instagram)

“It’s important that the person is sick and needs help and if the person is going to be alone and doesn’t know how to get help then it’s going to be worse for that.”

There have been warnings about the stigmatization of gay and bisexual people during the monkeypox outbreak, with a notable proportion of cases identified among men who have sex with men.

Charities and health authorities say there is a need to educate this group, but “lazy and homophobic tropes” have also emerged.

Mr Sapozhnikov told his supporters that monkeypox can be spread in a number of ways, including through respiratory particles and by touching objects used by infected people.

He writes on Instagram: “Contrary to all prejudice, the disease does not choose sexual orientation!”