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Los Angeles County is investigating the death of a person who was infected with the monkeypox virus.
In a media briefing on Thursday, Dr. Rita Singhal, the chief medical officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said the death was one of two in the United States that are currently under investigation to determine whether monkeypox was a contributing cause of death.
“We are currently investigating a death of a person with monkeypox in Los Angeles County. We are early in the investigation and do not have additional details available at this time,” she told reporters.
Worldwide, there have been seven confirmed monkeypox deaths in non-endemic countries.
MONKEY-POX CASES DECLINED, DESPITE GROWING RACIAL DIFFERENCES
In the California county, the number of weekly new cases recorded in August remained stable, although the data was incomplete due to a delay in reporting.
“Both the plateau of new weekly cases and the increasing doubling time continue to support that monkeypox virus transmission is slowing in LA County,” Singhal said.
The department also announced that it had expanded eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine to include residents who may be at future risk of exposure, in addition to those who are at current risk of exposure.
MONKEYPOX: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS
Those eligible now also include gay or bisexual men or men or transgender people who have sex with men or transgender people, people of any gender or sexual orientation who engage in commercial or transactional sex, people living with HIV and especially those with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease and people who had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
The first reported death of a person in the United States diagnosed with monkeypox was in Texas last month.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced that a Harris County adult who was “severely immunocompromised” and diagnosed with monkeypox had died.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists 21,894 cases reported in the United States, but no deaths.
In Los Angeles County, there are 1,836 cases as of early Friday.