- Texas health officials reported the death of a “severely immunocompromised” patient with monkeypox on Tuesday.
- Authorities are still investigating whether monkeypox played a role in the patient’s death.
- If this is confirmed to be attributed to monkeypox, this would be the first known death from the virus in the United States.
An immunocompromised patient with monkeypox has passed away, according to a report from Texas health officials on Tuesday.
The news release from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) stated that the patient was an adult resident of Harris County who was “severely immunocompromised.”
Health officials are still investigating whether monkeypox played a role in the patient’s death, but if it did, this would be the first known death from the virus in the United States.
DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said, “Monkeypox is a serious disease, particularly for those with weakened immune systems. We continue to urge people to seek treatment if they have been exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms consistent with the disease.”
There have been 48,800 confirmed monkeypox cases worldwide, with over 18,000 confirmed cases reported in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 15 confirmed deaths attributed to monkeypox worldwide, including six deaths in areas that have not had monkeypox cases historically. If the death in Texas is confirmed to be attributed to monkeypox, the global death toll would be 16.
Monkeypox is primarily spread through droplets from an infected person. This can be through close, intimate contact, such as hugging or kissing, or simply coming into contact with the towels or bedding used by an infected person. While most of the cases so far involve men who have sex with men, the virus can infect anyone.
Typical symptoms include rashes that resemble pimples or blisters, which can sometimes be itchy or painful. Other symptoms resemble the flu, such as chills, fever, muscle aches, and respiratory symptoms.
Most patients with monkeypox fully recover within two to four weeks even without medical treatment. Still, the CDC recommends consulting with your medical provider if you exhibit symptoms of monkeypox even without having contact with an infected person.
People with monkeypox are advised to isolate themselves at home until the rashes have healed and a new skin layer has formed. Notify all close contacts who may have been exposed.