Philadelphia man with monkeypox shares his story, as cases soar in Delaware Valley

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Cases of monkeypox are on the rise in the Delaware Valley and nationwide.

Larry Jackson III, 29, of North Philadelphia, said after several visits to the doctor he had recently discovered he had monkeypox.

“It still hurts, like some bumps hurt,” Jackson said.

He said it had been a painful fight for days.

Jackson is now staying home for three weeks hoping the virus will run its course. But, at first, he said he wasn’t sure what made him so sick.

SEE ALSO: Monkeypox and children | What to know about tests, symptoms, treatments and more

“Swollen lymph gland, my throat was swollen, my body ached,” Jackson said.

As of August 1, Philadelphia had 82 confirmed cases of monkeypox, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

There have been 170 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania, 155 in New Jersey and five in Delaware, according to the CDC.

A doctor told Action News that the number of cases both locally and across the country was increasing.

“I think that’s why most healthcare providers are taking this seriously, we’re being proactive about testing people now that testing availability has increased very significantly over the past two weeks,” said Eric Sachinwalla, medical director of infection prevention, Einstein Healthcare Network.

SEE ALSO: UN health agency declares monkeypox a global emergency, disease now present in 70 countries

He said it’s important to watch for symptoms.

“Stay home, talk to your healthcare provider, they can probably guide you on the best way to get tested,” Sachinwalla said.

He added that if you’ve been exposed, but aren’t showing symptoms, “You don’t have to self-quarantine, but contact the health department, especially if you know the other person has monkeypox, because you might be eligible for a vaccine.”

On Wednesday, eight more cases were confirmed in Bucks County.

Jeanne Franklin, the director of the Chester County Health Department, said they have enough vaccines for now.

“But we don’t know what it’s going to look like, in terms of how fast it spreads and how many close contacts we’ll have,” Franklin said.

She said whenever the county could order more vaccines, they would.

“Right now the vaccine is prioritized for post-exposure, so those close contacts. We’d love to have enough vaccine to do the pre-exposure that we’re just not there,” Franklin said.

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