A California man contracted COVID-19 and monkeypox at the same time – a double-dose of misery that left him flattened for weeks.
Mitcho Thompson, of Sebastopol, told NBC Bay Area he initially tested positive for the coronavirus in late June. He felt decimated by the virus, but then started noticing small red lesions throughout his back, legs, arms and neck.
“The doctor was very certain that I have monkeypox and that I had both,” Thompson told the station in an exclusive report. “Because that was the question. Could I get them at the same time? And he said, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’”
Thompson said the twin viruses left him feeling as if he had a severe case of influenza. He also had a fever, labored breathing, chills, body aches and skin lesions.
“Really sick,” Thompson recalled. “And the worst of it was honestly where I just could barely get out of bed, and you could barely like get a drink of water.”
An infectious disease specialist at Stanford University confirmed it’s possible for someone to become infected with both viruses simultaneously.
“It’s certainly not impossible for that to occur,” Dr. Dean Winslow told the station. “It’s just incredibly bad luck. They are very different viruses.”
More than 2,400 cases of monkeypox have been reported nationwide as part of an international outbreak that began two months ago. The virus spreads primarily through skin-to-skin contact, but it can also be transmitted through linens used by an infected person.
Some 778 people had been infected in New York City as of Thursday, city officials said.
“Cases in NYC are increasing, and there are likely many more cases that have not been diagnosed,” NYC Health’s website reads. “Anyone can get and spread monkeypox. The current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.”
The illness has been relatively mild for many men and has not led to any fatalities in the United States.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Associated Press “we still have the opportunity” to contain monkeypox as vaccine supplies will soon increase.
While roughly 2,000 doses were available when the outbreak was first identified in the US in May, Walensky said the government had distributed more than 191,000 doses this week – with 160,000 ready to ship and as many as 780,000 doses to become available as soon as next week.
Thompson, meanwhile, told NBC Bay Area he’s finally better after his dual infection of “monkey COVID.”
With Post wires