Monkeypox Gets Deadly

California resident is thought to be first American to die of monkeypox
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 13, 2022 2:30 AM CDT
Updated Sep 13, 2022 6:42 AM CDT
This May Be First US Monkeypox Death
A vial containing the monkeypox vaccine and a syringe is set on the table at a vaccination clinic run by the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.   (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)

A Los Angeles County resident with a compromised immune system has died from monkeypox, local health officials announced Monday. It's believed to be the first US fatality from the disease, the AP reports. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the cause of death, and a spokesperson said it was confirmed by an autopsy. The patient was severely immunocompromised and had been hospitalized. No other information on the person was released. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks cases and has not confirmed any US deaths from the disease. LA County officials say they worked with the CDC on their case. A CDC spokesperson confirmed the cooperation but did not immediately respond when asked if this was the first US death.

Texas public health officials on Aug. 30 reported the death of a person who had been diagnosed with monkeypox. The person was severely immunocompromised and their case is under investigation to determine what role monkeypox may have played in their death. Monkeypox is spread through close skin-to-skin contact and prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets. It can cause a rash, fever, body aches and chills. Relatively few people require hospitalizations and only a handful of deaths worldwide have been directly linked to the disease. The United States has the most cases globally, with 21,985 confirmed, according to the CDC. California has recorded the most cases nationally, with more than 4,300. Black and Latino people have been disproportionately infected.

(More monkeypox stories.)

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