(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Department of Public Health said Monday it had confirmed the area’s first death from monkeypox, saying the individual was severely immunocompromised and hospitalized.
The department said it had concluded that the death in Los Angeles County was due to monkey pox, along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The resident was severely immunocompromised and hospitalized,” the department said in a statement.
It is the second known death of a person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. Texas reported the first death last month in a severely immunocompromised person diagnosed with monkey pox.
The Texas case is still under investigation to determine the role monkey pox played in the death.
Monkeypox is rarely fatal, but people with weakened immune systems are more likely to become seriously ill or die, health officials say.
Anyone can become infected with monkey pox, which spreads through close contact with an infected person. Nearly all of the more than 21,985 cases of monkeypox in the United States have occurred among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, according to the CDC.
(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; editing by Stephen Coates)