ATLANTA — It’s a diagnosis that a 28-year-old Georgia resident, who didn’t want to be identified, says he’s still pondering.
“I couldn’t believe I understood,” he said.
He spoke to Ashli Lincoln of Channel 2 Action News exclusively through Zoom after being diagnosed with the monkeypox virus by Emory doctors.
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“Now I’m here, and now I have to get treatment,” he said.
He says he suspects he caught the virus from his job at Six Flags Over Georgia.
“It’s just the fact that there are a lot of people working there. There are a lot of guests coming in and out of the park every day we operate,” he said.
Channel 2 has confirmed that the man is actually an employee of Six Flags Over Georgia.
He says the park has done a great job of disinfecting them in recent months, but he suspects he touched a surface or object after a colleague who appeared to have the monkeypox virus.
“On the back side of his neck you can see it. I didn’t touch him. I was walking right beside him; I was near him. Is it that contagious? Is it on surfaces? Like, where is he? he said.
According to the Georgia Department of Health, transmission of monkeypox usually requires skin-to-skin or other close contact.
DPH says touching objects such as clothing or linens that have previously touched the rash or bodily fluids is a way monkeypox is spread, but has not been identified as a common mode of transmission in this outbreak. or for monkeypox in general.
According to the DPH, fleeting encounters with money, a doorknob, or environmental surfaces carry an even lower risk than things like bedding or towels.
The DPH indicates that 90% of cases are contracted through skin-to-skin contact.
The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 851 confirmed cases in the state of Georgia.
As the numbers continue to rise, hundreds of people line up at vaccination events in the metro area.
This week, US health officials announced they would expand the limited domestic supply of the monkeypox vaccine by giving people just one-fifth of the full dose. This would expand the 440,000 full doses available to over 2 million smaller doses.
“It itches, and they told me not to scratch. I can’t scratch,” the Six Flags employee said.
The Six Flags employee says he’s alerting management. The amusement park sent us a statement earlier Friday afternoon saying they were not aware of any confirmed cases of monkeypox.
Channel 2 has contacted Six Flags for comment after the employee tested positive.
The state Department of Health says 90% of cases are contracted through skin-to-skin contact.
However, the CDC says the virus can spread through fabrics and objects after touching those objects behind an infected person.
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