An grownup in Harris County, Texas, who was recognized with monkeypox, has died, state well being officers mentioned Tuesday.
The affected person’s immune system was severely compromised and he died at a Harris County hospital, based on the Texas Department of Health.
The official cause of death is not but identified. Although the man is believed to have contracted monkeypox, it is not but identified whether or not the man’s death was attributable to or associated to monkeypox, officers mentioned.
“We are attempting to find out the particular cause of death. We know this affected person was recognized with monkeypox, but we aren’t positive if the affected person died of monkeypox,” county officers mentioned. press convention on Tuesday.
The case is presently under investigation to find out what function monkeypox could play [have] “performed in death,” based on state officers. According to the Harris County Health Department, an post-mortem is underway and a ultimate report shall be out there in the subsequent few weeks.
“Monkey pox is a critical illness, particularly for individuals with weakened immune techniques,” mentioned Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner, mentioned in a assertion. “We encourage individuals to hunt therapy if they’re uncovered to monkeypox or have related signs.”
Local Harris County officers mentioned they’re working with state and federal well being officers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to analyze the case.
“We are sharing this info in the curiosity of transparency and to forestall potential misinformation about this case,” Harris County District Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote in a assertion. “For us, the finest technique to battle this virus is with vaccines. Our objective is still to get individuals vaccinated as shortly as attainable – I’ve at all times felt that vaccines are the key to lowering the unfold.”
Officials have urged individuals with weakened immune techniques to contemplate getting vaccinated as a result of they’re at greater danger of extreme illness.
“Monkeypox can have an effect on people who find themselves immunocompromised, so we encourage everybody who meets the standards to get vaccinated, together with those that are immunocompromised,” officers added.
In a assertion to ABC News, a CDC spokesperson mentioned the company is conscious of the death and is working with Texas officers to analyze.
“Our ideas are with the household at this heartbreaking time,” the spokesman mentioned.
CDC officers have warned that the pressure of monkeypox chargeable for the present outbreak is “not often deadly” and that most individuals who contract this kind of the illness will possible survive.
But officers wrote that individuals with weakened immune techniques are at greater danger of changing into critically in poor health or dying.
In a Tuesday press briefing, White House monkeypox process pressure officers additional emphasised that “solely a handful” of monkeypox deaths have been reported worldwide throughout the present outbreak.
“This is critical and our hearts really exit to this household who’ve misplaced a cherished one, and whereas we do additional investigation to search out out what function monkeypox performed, it is vital to notice that there are mitigation measures in place to forestall monkeypox,” mentioned Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, CDC monkeypox case supervisor.
So far, most circumstances of monkeypox have been recognized in homosexual, bisexual, or different males who’ve intercourse with males. But officers stress that anybody uncovered to the virus can contract monkeypox.
According to the CDC, there have been almost 49,000 circumstances of monkeypox worldwide, together with 18,100 in the United States, the most of any nation.
Monkey pox is primarily unfold by extended skin-to-skin contact with wounds or bodily fluids of contaminated individuals, based on the CDC. The virus will also be transmitted by bedding and towels.
Aside from sores like pimples or blisters, the most typical signs of monkeypox are swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.
ABC News’ Sony Salzman and Justin Gomez contributed to this report.