Britain’s first monkeypox patient to go public slams ‘farcial’ contract tracers

James McFadzean, 35, from London, suffered from a fever, exhaustion and back pain after contracting monkeypox, although he had no telltale rash, lump or pimple

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Britain’s first monkeypox patient to go public has criticized British health officials

Britain’s first monkeypox patient to go public claims it took almost two weeks for contact tracers to reach him.

James McFadzean, from London, said he has suffered from fever, exhaustion and back pain after contracting the fast-spreading infection.

The 35-year-old added that the UK Health Authority only contacted him today – almost two weeks after he was first diagnosed with monkeypox.

The gay HR director said he tested positive after calling a sexual health clinic to discuss his symptoms.

He told Mail Online he had slept with around 10 new partners in the run-up to his illness.

James McFadzean was told to take a test for monkeypox after calling a sexual health clinic about his symptoms

When he called the clinic, he was advised to take a monkeypox test, which came back positive, he told TalkTV.

More than 300 Britons have been infected with monkeypox so far, the largest outbreak in a country outside of Africa.

James told Mail Online: “It’s no wonder we’re getting so many more infections now if there’s no contact tracing or awareness that you don’t need the patches to tell people the virus

“Nobody asked me who I was in contact with. I was told someone from the UKHSA would call me within 24 hours of my diagnosis.

The HR manager is now doing much better, although his first week with the infection was “very tough”.

“I called the clinic every day and was like, ‘Why don’t they call me, I’m not allowed outside and I’m not allowed to go to work. UKHSA don’t call me, someone needs to document this’.”

James told TalkTV that the UKHSA only reached out to him after he went public with his story.

He still doesn’t know who he contracted the infection from, although he believes he contracted it after returning to the UK from Dubai.

Offering an update on his health, James told TalkTV: “I’m actually feeling much, much better now. It was very tough in the first week. But now I feel fit and in normal health again.

“I really didn’t think I had it. So, everything you hear, everything you read talks about that telltale rash or lump or pimple that I never had at any point of the illness.

“I got sick like the flu, fever, very exhausting back pain and at the local clinic that called they advised me to go for a monkey pox test which surprised me but I went ahead and got tested and I was diagnosed positive .'”

James slammed the UKHSA for taking almost two weeks to contact him

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James said the UKHSA did not contact him until he spoke to the press.

“Funnily enough (they didn’t contact me) until 10 minutes ago after my story broke,” he told the TV network.

“Suddenly they found my real phone number. This seems like a sham because every day I have called my clinic the NHS Trust is trying to get someone to get people to call me so we can do contract tracing so we can identify other vulnerable people.

“Because I was before the numbers started getting big. So if they had trouble containing 50, 60, 70 cases, now they’re going into the hundreds. I can only imagine how long it takes them to contact these people.”

James added: “It’s not like we haven’t just gone through a contagious pandemic and had to contact people.

“If you think, okay, the virus is different, but the infrastructure is certainly there. Like I said to 50/60 people at the time, I felt uncomfortable.

“How many people does it take to call that many people, two people in a call center.

“So yeah, it’s frustrating and the response she gave to an article, ‘Oh, we kept trying to contact him,’ turned out to be wrong.

“So just own up to the mistake. Say we’ll go ahead and do better.”

Monkeypox is usually found in remote parts of central and west Africa near tropical rainforests.

Monkeypox has eight symptoms that typically do not appear for at least five days.

This “incubation period” can last up to 13 or 21 days before it’s clear that the person has monkeypox.

In the first five days, the eight symptoms are:

  • A high temperature of 38°C or higher
  • headache
  • Muscle cramp
  • back pain
  • swollen glands
  • chills
  • exhaustion
  • A rash that forms scabs and may fill with fluid

The rash usually appears within the first five days, according to the NHS.

According to the World Health Organization, 95% of the rash affects the face and 75% affects the hands.

You can catch monkeypox by touching an infected person’s spots or scabs, or their clothing or bedding, and it can be transmitted by sneezing and coughing.

However, it is considered unlikely that the virus will be transmitted from person to person.

The virus is more likely to have come from direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected animal.

The illness usually lasts two to four weeks and patients may get better without treatment.

It can be dangerous when people develop secondary infections such as sepsis, encephalitis, and infection of the cornea that lead to vision loss.

Monkeypox has now become a “notifiable disease” in the UK, meaning doctors must inform local health authorities of suspected cases.

Wendi Shepherd, director of monkeypox incidents at the UKHSA, said: “Prompt diagnosis and reporting is key to interrupting transmission and curbing the further spread of monkeypox.

“This new legislation will help us and our healthcare partners quickly identify, treat and control the disease.

“It also assists us in the rapid collection and analysis of data, allowing us to identify possible outbreaks of the disease and quickly trace close contacts, while offering vaccinations where necessary to limit onward transmission.”

The UKHSA said gay men have been disproportionately affected by the monkeypox outbreak.

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