BREAKING: Texas officials confirms first US monkeypox death – unnamed Harris County resident with ‘various severe illnesses’ is 15th person globally to die while infected
- Adult — who has not been named — was being treated in Harris County
- Patient had ‘various severe illnesses’ and was ‘severely immunocompromised’
- Texas health officials are not revealing further information at this time due to privacy concerns
- But if the cause of death is confirmed to be monkeypox, it will be America’s first fatality from the virus in the current outbreak
America has recorded its first death in a person diagnosed with monkeypox in Texas, health officials announced Tuesday.
The adult — who has not been named — was being treated in Harris County, which includes Houston, and had ‘various severe illnesses’ besides the virus.
Health officials revealing the patient had tested positive for monkeypox today, described the person as ‘severely immunocompromised’.
They are not releasing any further information at this time due to privacy concerns.
If the cause of death is confirmed to be monkeypox, it will be America’s first fatality from the virus in the current outbreak. An autopsy is currently underway.
The outbreak has already spiralled to more than 18,101 cases to date, with a vaccination roll out underway for gay or bisexual men — where more than nine in ten cases are being detected.
Announcing the individual had tested positive for monkeypox, local health commissioner Dr John Hellerstedt said: ‘Monkeypox is a serious disease, particularly for those with weakened immune systems.
‘WE continue to urge people to seek treatment if they have been exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms consistent with the disease.’
Yesterday revealing the fatality before the patient was confirmed to have had a monkeypox infection, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said: ‘We are sharing this information to err on the side of transparency and to avoid potential misinformation about this case.
‘The best way for us to fight this virus is through vaccines. Our goal is still to get as many people who qualify vaccinated as quickly as possible — I have always felt that vaccines are key to reducing spread.’
The county’s public health director Barbie Robinson added: ‘We continue our work to control the monkeypox outbreak in our community and to build a healthier and stronger Harris County.’
This is a breaking news story.