A Los Angeles resident with a compromised immune system has died of monkeypox, which is believed to be the first American death from the virus.
Los Angeles Department of Public Health confirmed it death on Monday, and said the man was severely immunocompromised and was admitted to the hospital. No other information about the person was released.
The Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided that the death was caused by monkeypox. A CDC spokesman confirmed the collaboration, but did not immediately respond when asked if this was the first US death.
It is the second known death of a person with the disease in the United States. Texas reported last month The first death in a severely immunocompromised person who was diagnosed with monkeypox. However, that case is still under investigation as to what role monkeypox played in the death.
Monkeypox is rarely fatal, but people with weakened immune systems may be more likely to become seriously ill or die, health officials say. Monkeypox can cause rash, fever, body aches and chills but relatively few people require hospitalization and only a small number of deaths worldwide are directly related to the disease.
Anyone can become infected with monkeypox, which is spread through close contact with an infected person. According to the CDC, more than 21,985 cases of monkeypox in the United States have occurred in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
The Biden administration and the CDC have been criticized for their slow handling of the virus, and in recent weeks have announced efforts to distribute nearly 2m additional vaccines. Cases appear to be declining in some large US cities, similar to trends seen in Europe, and experts are cautiously optimistic that the outbreak could peak in the places most affected.
The United States has the most cases globally, with 21,985 confirmed cases, according to the CDC. California has recorded the most cases nationally, at more than 4,300. Black people and Latinos have been disproportionately infected.
Reuters contributed reporting