Georgia man describes contracting, living through monkeypox

As the Georgia Department of Public Health reports more monkeypox cases, more patients are speaking out about what the virus is like.

The GDPH said the overwhelming majority of cases are among gay or bisexual men who have sex with men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus can be contracted through sex but also after coming in direct contact with an infected person. FOX 5’s Alex Whittler spoke to a man who said he is gay, but he contracted the virus at a friendly gathering.

"There’s one here by my eye, one here," Samario Anthony, who goes by Sam, said over Zoom. He’s spent the past couple of weeks thinking small marks on his body were pimples, mosquito, or flea bites.

"I'm washing my dog, seeing any fleas in the water," he said.


It wasn't until Thursday, July 21 when he had routine blood work at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Midtown that he learned he contracted monkeypox.

"I thought from the pictures it’s supposed to be bigger, not small pimple sized bumps," Anthony said.

Anthony said he played cards with a group of friends July 10. One of them had just returned from a trip to Mexico that week.

"He had no indication of having lesions on his body," he explained.

A couple of days later, that friend called about strange bumps on his arms.


By July 14, Anthony said he had lesions on his body too. Eventually, he had gastrointestinal issues, swollen lymph nodes and muscle spasms.

So far, doctors said the only treatment is to get through it, although there are pain medicines and topical ointments.

"Unfortunately there is the self-isolation. In your own room, preferably with your own bathroom," Dr. Quintin Robinson told the FOX 5 Medical Team.

Anthony said he's doing that and blowing through sick days at work. Georgia's DPH said 96% of cases in Georgia are among gay or bisexual men, but Anthony said people should still be aware even if they are not sexually active.

"I am a gay male, but I didn’t get it from sex. We're just affectionate men," he said.

Doctors encourage those at high risk of contracting the monkeypox to get vaccinated now.

There is a large vaccination event this Friday in DeKalb County. It's at the North DeKalb Health Center. There will only be 200 appointments available and it's happening from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Anyone interested can register starting on Wednesday, July 27 at 9 a.m. on the DeKalb County Board of Health website.