Health

Los Angeles County investigates death of monkeypox patient


Los Angeles County officials this week said they were investigating the death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox to see if the disease was the cause of death.

This is the second known death of a person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, which has reported more cases of the virus this year than anywhere else in the world. Health officials are investigating whether smallpox in monkeys played a role in the two deaths.

Rita Singhal, medical director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a press conference on Thursday that an autopsy is underway on the deceased in the county and it could take days or weeks to get the results. Dr Singhal did not say whether the deceased had any underlying medical conditions, as was the case in the previous death, in Texas.

“We are investigating early and have no additional details at this time,” Dr Singhal said. “As soon as the details are available, we will share them while maintaining security and privacy.”

As part of the investigation, Dr. Singhal said, county officials will work with the state of California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if guidelines on how to treat people with Monkeypox, especially those who are seriously ill, should be up to date.

There have been more than 56,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox in more than 100 countries, including more than 21,500 confirmed cases in the United States, According to CDC

The first reported death of a person diagnosed with smallpox in the United States was in Texas last month. The State Department of Health is there announced on August 30 that an adult in Harris County who was “severely immunocompromised” and diagnosed with monkeypox had died.

“The case is being investigated to determine the role of monkeypox in the deaths,” the ministry said in a statement.

As of September 4, the deaths of 18 people diagnosed with monkeypox have been reported for the World Health Organization. Global weekly new cases fell 25.5% in the week ending September 4, compared with the previous week, the WHO said. The outbreak continues to mainly affect men who have sex with men with an average age of 36 years, the WHO said.

Health officials say the spread of monkeypox is decreasing in major US cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC, warned two weeks ago that the drop not even nationwide.

“We are still growing every week,” she told a White House press conference. “The rate of increase is lower. But we still see an increase. And of course we’re a very diverse country, and things aren’t even across the country.”



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