LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles County resident with a compromised immune system has died of monkeypox, local health officials announced Monday. This is believed to be the first death in the US from the disease.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the cause of death, and a spokesperson said this was confirmed by post-mortem. The patient is severely immunocompromised and hospitalized. No other information about this person has been released.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks cases and has not confirmed any deaths in the US from the disease. LA County officials say they have been working 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 reporting a person’s death who have been diagnosed with monkeypox. The person is severely immunocompromised and their case is being investigated to determine the role monkeypox may have played in their death.
Read more: It feels really good to have monkeypox
Monkeypox is spread by skin-to-skin contact and prolonged contact with respiratory droplets. It can cause a rash, fever, body aches, and chills. Relatively few people need hospitalization and only a small number of deaths worldwide are directly related to the disease.
CDC recommends monkeypox vaccination for close contacts of people with the disease; people who know a partner diagnosed in the last two weeks; and gay or bisexual men who have had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area where the virus is known to spread. Scans are also recommended for healthcare workers at high risk of exposure.
The United States has the most cases globally, with 21,985 confirmed cases, according to the CDC. California has recorded the most cases in the nation, with more than 4,300. Blacks and Latinos have been disproportionately infected.
The recent drop in cases, combined with an uptick in vaccinations, encouraged the White House as officials promised to ramp up vaccination services at LGBTQ Pride festivals around the country. in the coming weeks.
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