Texas reports first death of person with monkeypox in U.S.

Texas health officials on Tuesday confirmed the death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox, which, if confirmed as the cause, would be the first known death from the virus in the U.S.

Driving the news: The person was a Harris county resident who was “severely immunocompromised.” An investigation is underway to determine “what role monkeypox played” in their death, the state’s Department of State Health Services said in a press release.

  • The agency confirmed the person was an adult but did not disclose further details.
  • It is the first death of someone diagnosed with the virus in Texas, the press release added.

What they’re saying: “Monkeypox is a serious disease, particularly for those with weakened immune systems,” John Hellerstedt, DSHS Commissioner, said in the press release.

  • “We continue to urge people to seek treatment if they have been exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms consistent with the disease,” he added.

The big picture: The Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency earlier this month.

  • Last month Spain and Brazil reported the first monkeypox-related deaths outside of Africa during the current outbreak.
  • The U.S. has been contending with a limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine. To that end, the Biden administration struck an $11 million deal on Monday to support the domestic packaging of the vaccine and bolster supplies.

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