Texas health officials announced Tuesday that a patient with monkeypox died, possibly the nation’s first recorded mortality from the virus.
According to health experts, the patient was an adult with a seriously impaired immune system who lived in the Houston region. According to officials, the case is being investigated to establish what role monkeypox played in the individual’s death.
“Monkeypox is a dangerous disease, especially for those with weaker immune systems,” stated Texas State Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt. “We continue to urge people to seek medical attention if they have been exposed to monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms consistent with the disease.”
Monkeypox is normally not fatal, although persons with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop severe disease. Patients commonly develop lesions that resemble pimples or blisters and cause terrible agony.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight nations have reported 15 deaths from monkeypox since the global outbreak began this year. Previous reports of deaths came from Cuba, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Spain, and the Central African Republic.
The United States is currently dealing with the world’s greatest monkeypox outbreak. According to CDC data, more than 18,000 cases have been recorded across the country, with illnesses now confirmed in every state, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
According to the data, approximately 49,000 cases of monkeypox have been documented in 99 countries worldwide.
According to the CDC, the virus is typically spread through sexual contact among gay and bisexual men. According to Demetre Daskalakis, deputy leader of the White House monkeypox response team, around 94% of confirmed cases were related with sex, and nearly all of the patients are guys who have sex with men.
In the United States, the outbreak is disproportionately impacting Black and Hispanic men.
According to CDC data, around 30% of monkeypox patients are white, 32% are Hispanic, and 33% are Black. Whites account for around 59% of the population in the United States, while Hispanics and Blacks account for 19% and 13%, respectively.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Friday that health experts are cautiously optimistic that the virus’s transmission is slowing as new cases emerge in big cities.
“We’re monitoring this with cautious optimism, and we’re extremely hopeful that many of our harm-reduction messaging and immunizations are getting out there and functioning,” Walensky said to reporters on Friday.
The United States hopes to curb the pandemic by giving out vaccines, extending testing, offering antiviral medications, and educating homosexual and bisexual males about the virus.
So far, the federal government has distributed 1.5 million doses of monkeypox vaccination. More than 3 million doses should be available to states and local authorities after the next distribution round is complete, according Dawn O’Connell, head of the office responsible for the national stockpile at the Health and Human Services Department.
Jynneos, the monkeypox vaccine, is given in two doses 28 days apart. It is the only monkeypox vaccination approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. Bavarian Nordic, a Danish biotech business, manufactures Jynneos.
To supplement the vaccine’s limited supply, the FDA has approved a new route of administration. For adults, the vaccine is now administered intradermally, or between the layers of skin. This approach employs a reduced volume dosage, allowing physicians to extract five doses from each vial.
According to the CDC, there is no data on the vaccine’s real-world efficacy in the present outbreak. However, health officials have underlined the importance of receiving two doses in order to elicit the maximum immunological response. According to the CDC, protection against the virus is anticipated to be greatest two weeks following the second dose.
According to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people at high risk can lower their risks of exposure to monkeypox by restricting their sexual partners until the second week after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. According to the CDC, people can lower their chance of exposure by avoiding sex parties until they are vaccinated.
According to the CDC, the best strategy to avoid infection for persons who have monkeypox or whose partners have the virus is to avoid any form of sex while unwell. It’s especially vital not to touch any rash and to avoid sharing products or materials like towels, sex toys, fetish gear, or tooth brushes.
The CDC also advises people to share their contact information with any new sexual partners.