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College Area man, Comic-Con volunteer calls monkeypox battle 'scary and painful'

College Area man, Comic-Con volunteer calls monkeypox battle 'scary and painful'
Posted at 4:01 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 20:21:58-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A College Area man and Comic-Con volunteer is sharing his story after testing positive for monkeypox.

After volunteering throughout Comic-Con, checking badges, Manny Soltero, 33, started feeling sick a day later.

“Chills. Generally very exhausted,” said Soltero.

Several days later, he developed a fever, which lasted for three days.

“After my fever broke, that's when I began seeing red bumps throughout my body,” said Soltero.

The lesions began on his face, before spreading across his body.

“They sting, they itch, and they’re very uncomfortable,” said Soltero.

He tested negative for COVID twice. Last Thursday, he went to the ER, where his lesions were swabbed for a test for monkeypox, with the results expected the next day. When they didn't come in, he posted on Twitter, asking for help.

“Panicking. I’m scared. I don't know what's going on to my body,” said Soltero.

Soltero says he got a message from the CEO of LA-based Flow Health, which has developed a saliva test. The CDC is now weighing whether to adopt such tests.

Flow Health sent a courier with the test, and this weekend, Soltero got his result: positive for monkeypox.

“Only felt better, because I finally knew what I had,” said Soltero.

What Soltero isn't sure about is how he contracted it. The incubation period for the virus is believed to be between 3 and 17 days.

He says he did take a lot of photos with people at Comic-Con, including one hot, outdoor event, where he waited in line for several hours.

“50 people, all within two feet of each other. We were all touching basically,” said Soltero.

Weeks later, Soltero says he has some 50 lesions spread across his body.

“They continue to multiply. It’s scary. I don't know what's going to happen. Monkeypox is here. It’s real. It’s very painful,” said Soltero.

On Monday afternoon, Soltero drove to an urgent care in Van Nuys, where he received TPOXX, an experimental treatment. Currently, there is no FDA-authorized treatment for monkeypox.

ABC 10news reached out to Comic-Con and the county asking about monkeypox exposure at the event and are waiting to hear back.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help Soltero with medical and other expenses.