Texas reports what may be the first U.S. death from monkeypox

Texas well being officers stated Tuesday {that a} affected person identified with monkeypox was the first particular person in the nation to die from the virus.

Health officers stated the affected person was an grownup with a severely compromised immune system who lived in the Houston space. Officials say the case is at the moment beneath investigation to find out what function monkey illness performed in the man’s death.

“Monkey pox is a severe illness, particularly for individuals with weakened immune programs,” stated Dr. John Hellerstedt, Texas State Health Commissioner. “We encourage individuals to hunt therapy if they’re uncovered to monkeypox or have related signs.”

Monkeypox is mostly not life-threatening, however immunocompromised persons are at elevated threat of extreme illness. Patients often develop lesions that resemble zits or blisters and trigger excruciating ache.

Eight international locations have reported a complete of 15 deaths from monkeypox since the world outbreak started this yr, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, deaths have been reported in Cuba, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Spain and the Central African Republic.

The US is now coping with the world’s largest monkey epidemic. With greater than 18,000 instances nationwide, infections have now been confirmed in each state, in addition to in Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, in line with the CDC.

According to knowledge, about 49,000 instances of monkeypox have been registered in 99 international locations round the world.

According to the CDC, the virus is unfold primarily via sexual contact amongst homosexual and bisexual males. About 94% of confirmed instances are sexually associated, and virtually all of the sufferers are males who’ve intercourse with males, Demetrius Daskalakis, deputy director of the White House monkeypox job power, advised reporters on Friday.

The epidemic in the US disproportionately impacts black and Hispanic males. About 30% of monkeypox instances are white, 32% are Hispanic, and 33% are black, in line with the CDC. Whites make up 59% of the US inhabitants, whereas Hispanics and blacks make up 19% and 13%, respectively.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated on Friday that well being officers have been cautiously optimistic that the unfold of the virus may be slowing, as new instances in main cities declined.

“We’re taking a look at this with cautious optimism and hope that lots of our hurt discount messages and vaccines are popping out and dealing,” Walensky advised reporters on Friday.

The U.S. hopes to stem the epidemic by introducing vaccines, increasing testing, selling antiviral therapy and educating homosexual and bisexual males about the virus.

The federal authorities has already distributed 1.5 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine. More than 3 million doses ought to be obtainable to states and native jurisdictions by the finish of the newest distribution spherical, in line with Dawn O’Connell, chief of the Office of National Stockpiles at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The monkeypox vaccine referred to as Jynneos is run in two doses 28 days aside. It is the solely vaccine accredited by the US Food and Drug Administration in opposition to monkeypox. Jynneos is manufactured by Bavarian Nordic biotech firm based mostly in Denmark.

To increase the restricted provide, the FDA has accredited one other technique of administering the vaccine. The vaccine is now administered by intradermal injection or between the layers of the pores and skin for adults. This technique makes use of a smaller dosing quantity that permits healthcare suppliers to dispense as much as 5 doses from every vial.

According to the CDC, there isn’t a info on the precise effectiveness of the vaccine in the present outbreak. But well being officers stress that it’s vital that individuals get two doses to set off the strongest immune system response. According to the CDC, safety in opposition to the virus may peak two weeks after the second dose.

The World Health Organization and the CDC say high-risk individuals can cut back their probabilities of getting monkeypox by limiting sexual companions till the second week after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. According to the CDC, individuals can cut back their threat by avoiding intercourse till they’re vaccinated.

For individuals with monkeypox or companions who’ve the virus, the finest strategy to keep away from an infection is to keep away from intercourse whereas sick, in line with the CDC. It is very essential to keep away from touching any rashes and to not share objects or supplies reminiscent of towels, intercourse toys, fetish tools or toothbrushes.

The CDC additionally encourages individuals to share contact info with any new sexual companions.

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