The United States has registered its first monkeypox-related death. Texas health officials on Tuesday confirmed the death of a patient infected with monkeypox. The adult, whose gender was not specified, was already severely immunocompromised. According to the authorities, they now want to investigate “what role monkeypox played in the death”.
Jennifer McQuiston from the US health authority CDC also said that it must now be checked whether monkeypox played a role in the death or not. “It is important to emphasize that deaths from monkeypox, while possible, are very rare.” With more than 40,000 cases of infection from the current outbreak worldwide, there have only been a “handful” of deaths, McQuiston said.
Monkeypox is a less dangerous relative of smallpox, which has been eradicated for about 40 years. For decades, the disease occurred primarily in some West and Central African countries. Since May, however, it has also been increasingly recorded outside of Africa. More than 18,000 cases have been reported in the US alone.