First death from monkeypox confirmed in US

(CNN NEWSOURCE) — The first death from monkeypox has been confirmed in the U.S.

While deaths from the virus are extremely rare, officials are sending out a warning — especially to those who are severely immunocompromised.

In the U.S. this year, there have been around 22,000 cases of probable or confirmed monkeypox. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first death from the virus: a Los Angeles resident with a severely weakened immune system who had been hospitalized.

Federal health officials say they’re working to get clear messaging out on monkeypox.

“That really means being frank, really focusing on the exposures and really working very intentionally to not generate stigma as we increase awareness of monkeypox across the country,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, White House Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator.

And while, as we said earlier, deaths from monkeypox are extremely rare, it’s more likely among babies, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as from HIV.

In a release, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health said:

“Persons severely immunocompromised who suspect they have monkeypox are encouraged to seek medical care and treatment early and remain under the care of a provider during their illness.”

In the battle against monkeypox, federal health officials say they’re working to make testing more accessible and increasing production of the monkeypox vaccine.

“We really seeing great uptake across the country, which means what vaccine we do have we’re able to extend,” said Dr. Daskalakis.

While monkeypox cases appear to be leveling off, health officials say that shouldn’t lead to complacency.

A person in Harris County, Texas, who had monkeypox died last month, but the virus’ role in that death has not been confirmed.

Categories: US & World News, World News