A Georgia woman diagnosed with monkeypox says she didn’t contract the “painful” virus via sex — and is using TikTok to fight “misinformation” about the disease.
Camille Seaton, 20, began feeling unwell partway through July and rushed to hospital when she noticed blisters breaking out on her face.
The young mother was subsequently stunned when she tested positive for the virus — declared a public health emergency in the United States earlier this month.
Monkeypox, which is spreading across the US following an outbreak in Europe this past spring, is primarily impacting gay and bisexual men, who account for approximately 98% of patients, according to NYU biologist Joseph Osmundson.
Seaton — who is the first female to be officially diagnosed in the Peach State — works as a gas station attendant who said she believes she contracted the virus while handling “dirty money” at her job, according to a now-viral video with more than a million views.
The mom spent more than two weeks isolated at her townhouse, with her 3-year-old daughter being cared for by other family members.
Seaton additionally told the publication that her monkeypox symptoms were serious, saying: “I was in pain literally all of the time.”
“It was itching. It was joint pain. It was excruciating headaches. It was fainting. You have to go through so much before you even start the healing process,” she further declared.
At home alone, Seaton turned to social media to fight misinformation about the virus, sharing TikTok clips.
In the viral video, Seaton states: “I’m here to tell you again that sex is not the only way to contract this virus. Yes, it’s mostly been men who have gotten it – I’m only the first woman to have gotten it in the state of Georgia – but all people are different.”
“This is no joke,” she further warned. “Wash your hands, wear masks, stop touching people, wear gloves.”
She continued: “The virus isn’t airborne but it might as well be. You can catch it from sitting in a confined space with somebody that has it – a car, a plane, a room.”
Monkeypox outbreak: Where the US stands now
Health agencies in the US have counted at least 6,600 cases of suspected monkeypox — with another 1,000 cases expected to be added next week, according to epidemiological forecasters. Among the nation’s illness epicenters, New York City is battling more than 1,400 cases following an outbreak during the month of June.
At the same time, the World Health Organization is reporting over 26,000 cases of the disease.
Exactly how and why the once “rare and unusual” virus has recently cropped up, and subsequently spread across continents, remains a mystery.
Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer of WebMD, told The Post that doctors “are still learning about it,” but reassured patients of their worst fears. “We haven’t known [the current outbreak] to be fatal. And that’s a good thing,” Whyte said.
Meanwhile, after Seaton posted her now-viral video, many people took to the comments section of the clip thanking Seaton for raising awareness about the misconceptions surrounding monkeypox.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you. We do have to be more careful. Thank you so much for sharing your journey & educating people re: your experience,” one stated.
The young mom has now beaten the virus, according to an Insider report. She has reunited with her daughter and has returned to work.
While women make up a very small number of people currently contracting monkeypox, Seaton is not the first female to document her battle with the virus on TikTok.
A New Yorker named Lou has also spoken out on the social media site, similarly saying the virus was extremely painful.
She expressed pain to the point where she said she could only drink “protein drinks” and that it was difficult to talk. “I can’t eat. I can’t brush my teeth. I can barely talk,” she said.