Photo Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez
The Department of Public Health stated Monday that it had reported the first Monkeypox-related fatality in the United States since it emerged in the country months ago.
The announcement of the health organization was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. They indicated that the death that followed the monkeypox infection was brought on by the person’s compromised immune system. The CDC added that the person was hospitalized before passing away.
No other information will be released on the subject for the time being, according to the Department of Public Health.
A rare occurence
Monkeypox-related fatalities are relatively uncommon. The cases that have been documented frequently include infants, expectant mothers, and people with weakened immune systems brought on by other diseases like HIV. Last month, there was a case of Monkeypox that resulted in death in Harris County. Health officials have not yet determined whether Monkeypox or another factor primarily caused the fatality.
According to CDC data, almost 22,000 cases have already been documented in the United States this year. California had the highest number of recorded cases (4,300). Zooming out, countries worldwide have verified a total of 58,000 cases. Monkeypox has also claimed 18 lives.
Looking at the current data, the overall number of deaths from Monkeypox is now 19; this represents just 0.00032% of all positive cases. This merely demonstrates that Monkeypox deaths are extremely infrequent.
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Monkeypox is dying down
According to the CDC, fewer instances of Monkeypox are being reported. However, health organizations worry that letting up will only harm the nation; therefore extreme vigilance is still advised.
“We’re continuing to see a downward trend in Europe. While reported cases from the Americas also declined last week, it’s harder to draw firm conclusions about the epidemic in that region. Some countries in the Americas continue to report an increasing number of cases, and in some, there is likely to be underreported due to stigma and discrimination or a lack of information for those who need it most,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization.
“A downward trend can be the most dangerous time if it opens the door to complacency.”
Caution is highly advised
Authorities continue to be concerned about a potential spike in monkeypox cases if nations do not adopt preventative measures against the disease. As a result, medical professionals strongly suggest that the US keep vaccinating large numbers of people, paying special attention to at-risk populations, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
“We’re not seeing the potentially exponential growth that we were seeing early on, so that is reassuring. Too early to say things look really good, but definitely some signs of slowing of cases,” said Chicago public health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
A few weeks ago, the Health and Human Services said that it had acquired enough Jynneos vaccinations to give to high-risk individuals. The US has agreements with Bavarian Nordic, the sole manufacturer authorized to export monkeypox vaccines to the US, so there will be more monkeypox vaccinations to be administered.
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Here’s the statement from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health:
The Los Angeles Department of Public Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has confirmed the first death due to Monkeypox in a Los Angeles County resident. Public Health sends heartfelt condolences and wishes of healing to the family and friends mourning the loss of their loved one.
The resident was severely immunocompromised and had been hospitalized.
To protect confidentiality and privacy, additional information on this case will not be made public.
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.
For more information, please visit the Country of Los Angeles Public Health website.
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.