SoCal actor goes viral for TikTok video detailing experience with monkeypox: 'You do not want this'

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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
SoCal actor goes viral for TikTok detailing experience with monkeypox
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Local actor Matt Ford is believed to be one of the first people to publicly come out on social media that he has monkeypox.

A Southern California actor is going viral for his TikTok video detailing his experience with monkeypox. He's urging others to get vaccinated and talking about the symptoms to look out for.

Matt Ford is now on the mend after a couple weeks of pain and discomfort.

"You do not want this (expletive)... I cannot over emphasize that," he said in one video.

Ford is believed to be one of the first people to publicly come out on social media that he has monkeypox.

"That kind of blew up on Twitter and so I decided to make a TikTok about it so I could really use my own voice and show more visually what it's like," Ford said.

His TikTok video has been seen nearly 300,000 times as he tries to bring more awareness to the virus.

Ford said he first learned he contracted monkeypox through skin-to-skin contact, but didn't know what it was until he said some of the symptoms started to pop up on his body.

MORE: What is monkeypox? What to know about virus, symptoms, spread

"I had really intense flu like symptoms for almost a week; fever, cough, sore throat, full body chills, night sweats."

Ford said he found 25 lesions all over his body.

"Those were in more sensitive areas, at worst excruciatingly painful and at best mildly irritating and itchy," he said.

An infectious disease expert from Dignity Health said while monkeypox case numbers are still small, any rising infection disease is a cause for concern.

But there is already protection available and you might already have it - the smallpox vaccine also protects you from monkeypox.

"The monkeypox vaccination is actually the vaccine which was the smallpox vaccine. As you know smallpox is no longer found anywhere in the world," said Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, Infectious Disease Specialist of Dignity Health California Hospital.

Ford wants to be the face of the name monkeypox and encourages everyone to get vaccinated for the virus.

"I wanted to warn people that this is a really terrible experience that you don't necessarily have to go through," he said. "That's why I was urging people to get vaccinated if they could."

He expects to make a full recovery soon.