IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

First U.S. death from monkeypox reported in California

The patient, a resident of Los Angeles County, was severely immunocompromised. A second possible monkeypox-related death is under investigation in Texas.
A man fills out paperwork before getting the monkeypox vaccine at the Balboa Sports Complex vaccine site in Encino, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2022.
A man fills out paperwork before getting the monkeypox vaccine at the Balboa Sports Complex vaccine site in Encino, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2022.Sarah Reingewirtz / Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

The Los Angeles County health department on Monday confirmed the first death from monkeypox in the U.S.

In a statement, the department said the patient was severely immunocompromised and had been hospitalized, but did not provide further details.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the death as well, the department said.

In Texas, health officials are still investigating the death of a person with monkeypox. When the death was reported on August 29, the Texas Department of State Health Services said the patient was diagnosed with monkeypox in the Houston area and was "severely immunocompromised." But it's not yet known whether monkeypox was the cause of death.

The CDC has recorded nearly 2,000 monkeypox cases in Texas thus far, more than 550 of which were in Houston as of Monday, according to Harris County data.

In California, 4,300 cases had been reported as of Monday, according to the CDC. At least 1,800 of those were in Los Angeles County, per the county's latest data from Sept. 9.

The CDC said Friday in a weekly report on monkeypox that a case analysis found that 61% of people in the U.S. who have developed the viral disease also had HIV or another sexually transmitted infection or disease.

People who had both HIV and monkeypox were more likely to be hospitalized than those with monkeypox who did not have HIV, the CDC said.

According to the World Health Organization, 98% of monkeypox cases outside Africa have involved men who have sex with men, or MSM.

The CDC recommends that local public health officials "ensure equitable access to monkeypox screening, prevention, and treatment, particularly among MSM."

Monkeypox is often revealed through skin rashes, flu-like symptoms, aches and fatigue. It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, including via sex, and by touching objects like clothing or bedding used by those with monkeypox.

Deaths are rare — more than 99% of people infected with the strain currently circulating in the U.S. survive — and the disease resolves in most patients within four weeks.

Outside the U.S., eight deaths from monkeypox have been reported this year in countries where the virus isn't historically found, according to the CDC. Two monkeypox deaths have been recorded in Brazil, two in Spain and one each in Belgium, Cuba, Ecuador and India.