(KRON) — In the Bay Area, a man suspected of contracting monkeypox has fully recovered from his illness after successfully undergoing treatments that required a push through lots of red tape to receive.
More than three weeks after 33-year-old Kevin Kwong believes he was infected with monkeypox, he is all but symptom free.
“A little scaring, but I’m hoping that recovers,” said Kwong who is an Alameda County resident.
Kevin’s mental state and body are in much better shape now compared to the early stages of his illness when lesions and rashes consumed him. He suspected monkeypox after a trip to New York City pride at the end of June.
But initially, Kwong sought medical care when he returned to the Bay Area. Physicians diagnosed him with scabies and eczema before he was referred to Dr. Peter Chin-Hong at UCSF.
“Kevin’s case was probably one of the most severe cases that I’ve seen of the patients that I’ve seen so far,” Chin-Hong said.
Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s exhaustive compassionate-use system, Chin-Hong was approved to prescribe Kwong the antiviral drug TPOXX.
He is one of seven patients to receive that treatment at UCSF. Kwong feels fortunate to have had the medication because not all doctors are willing or able to prescribe it.
“It was six pills a day — morning and night — for two-weeks. So, I’m completely off it,” Kwong said.
Although Kwong was never officially diagnosed with monkeypox, Chin-Hong says all of the visual signs pointed to a positive case. Both he and Kwong agree testing needs to improve.
Chin-Hong adds that the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring monkeypox a global emergency will hopefully help fast-track access to the vaccine and treatments to people with severe cases.
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“There’s also the possibility of getting this an emergency use authorization designation, which will make it easier for clinicians to treat it all over the country,” Chin-Hong said.
“We have the opportunity to launch this coordinated effort to stop it before it does become this prolonged STD,” Kwong said.