US Sees Second Possible Monkeypox Death

Ralph Ellis

September 12, 2022

Los Angeles County health officials said Thursday they're looking into the death of a person who had monkeypox.

An autopsy has not been done yet, Rita Singhal, MD, chief medical officer of the county Department of Public Health, said at a news conference.

"We are early in the investigation and do not have additional details available at this time," she said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "As soon as details become available, we will share them while maintaining confidentiality and privacy."

The department will work with the CDC as it investigates. More than 1,800 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in Los Angeles County, according to the department.

The first death of a person with monkeypox in the United States was reported Aug. 30 in Harris County, TX, according to a news release from the Texas Department of State Health Services at the time. That person had other health conditions, and it's not yet known what role monkeypox had in the death.

The CDC says there have been 21,504 confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S. and more than 56,000 globally. So far, the CDC does not list any monkeypox deaths in the U.S. but says at least 15 deaths linked to monkeypox have been reported worldwide.

The smallpox-like disease was first found in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970 and has become more common in West and Central Africa. It began spreading to European and other Western nations in May.

SOURCES:

Los Angeles Times: "L.A. County investigating death of resident diagnosed with MPX."

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: "Monkeypox Data."

Texas Department of State Health Services: "Texas Confirms First Death of a Person with Monkeypox."

CDC: "2022 Outbreak Cases and Data."

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