Another US death linked to monkeypox as cases recede


A second US death has been linked to monkeypox, officials said Tuesday, even as cases continue to fall nationwide.

The person was a severely immunocompromised resident of Los Angeles County who had been hospitalized, a statement by the local health department said, without revealing further details about the case, in order to protect confidentiality.

“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,” the statement said.

The first US death linked to the viral illness occurred in Texas and was announced on August 30, though authorities said that as the person was severely immunocompromised, they were investigating what role monkeypox had played.

It comes as cases have been falling nationally since mid-August.

There have been nearly 22,000 US cases in the current monkeypox outbreak, which began in May.

Authorities have administered 460,000 doses of the vaccine against the disease in 35 states and other jurisdictions, according to a data tracker—and it appears the strategy is bearing fruit.

The current global outbreak is primarily affecting gay and bisexual men.

Historically, the virus has been spread via direct contact with lesions, body fluids and respiratory droplets, and sometimes through indirect contamination via surfaces such as shared bedding.

But in this outbreak, there is preliminary evidence that sexual transmission may also play a role.

The virus causes painful skin lesions and flu-like symptoms.

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