FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — CBS 17 is hearing from a person who said he had the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Cumberland County.
The Cumberland County man — who wants to remain anonymous — calls monkeypox the worst experience of his life.
“I had COVID twice. But this is the worst I’ve ever felt. It’s the leg cramps, it’s the exhaustion, it’s the dry mouth, and that’s all before the legions and bumps even appear,” he said.
He told CBS 17 he was diagnosed with the disease in mid July after returning home from an overnight trip to Charlotte.
“Since COVID started, I haven’t even left the city, let alone spend the night in a room. But I did that one day,” he said.
According to the CDC, monkeypox can spread by skin-to-skin contact and even through contact with objects or fabrics including clothes and bedsheets.
“I wasn’t quarantined or isolated for those first two weeks,” the Cumberland County man said.
Initially, emergency room and urgent care doctors weren’t sure why he was sick after testing negative for COVID.
It was his visit to the Cumberland County Department of Public Health that led to his diagnosis.
“I went to work one day and was told to quarantine again,” he said.
He was off work in isolation for nearly a month. He said quarantining quickly created a financial hardship for his family, with no type of assistance available for individuals dealing with this disease.
“It’s going to take me several months to recover. Financially, it’s going to take me several months,” he said.
What he worries most about are his two adult daughters who live with him.
“They could be out here spreading stuff around to someone else. Isn’t that how it works? Isn’t that the whole reason I’m isolated?”
Documents show the Cumberland County man was cleared by the health department on Aug. 5 to return to work.
CBS 17 reached out to CDPH leaders for comment and no one was available for an interview.