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'People are really scared of this' | Monkeypox patient shares his experience

"It presents itself initially like COVID. You get tired, you have a fever, you can't get out of bed, you have body aches," said Brian Thomas.

HOUSTON — There have been a total of 20 reported monkeypox cases in Texas so far with eight of them in Houston.

"People are really scared of this," said Brian Thomas, who is recovering from monkeypox. "It presents itself initially like COVID. You get tired, you have a fever, you can't get out of bed, you have body aches. I took two covid tests and I was like what else could this be?"

Thomas is a nurse who chose his career to help people, but on July 25, he was the one needing a little help.

"I knew that it had been going around in Europe, but of course, we're always like, it's not going to be that bad here and it's not going to happen to me especially."

RELATED: No shortage of monkeypox tests, vaccines in Texas, health officials say

Doctor Carlton Thomas has been educating people in the gay community about monkeypox since late May. 

"The timing of this whole thing with all the pride festivals in June and July it couldn't have been a worse time for this to happen," said Dr. Carlton Thomas.

Dr. Carlton Thomas has been using social media like TikTok and Instagram to spread his message.

"They are being very thankful for information, which is lacking in the community," said Dr. Thomas.

In Texas, state health officials say there have been 20 confirmed cases of monkeypox. All of those positive cases are men.

RELATED: Number of monkeypox cases reported in Texas grows to 20 with 8 in Houston area

On Wednesday, local health officials said a preventative vaccine that's at least 85 percent effective, if given within four days of exposure, is available on request, but on an as-needed basis.

"There isn't a need to vaccinate all of the general public at this time, and we don't anticipate that in the future," said Dr. Ericka Brown with Harris County Public Health.

Dr. Peter Hotez, one of the world's leading infectious disease experts, also weighed in on the monkeypox outbreak.

"The numbers we're seeing now are just the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Hotez. "If we don't intervene, it won't stay in that community. It will eventually become more generalized."

Dr. Hotez went on to say the worry for him is if it will start affecting kids who don't handle monkeypox as well as adults.

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