MARYLAND, USA — Health officials reported Maryland's first monkeypox-related death on Friday.
The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced that a Maryland residend died and said human monkeypox "was a contributing factor."
A release from MDH said the the individual was immunocompromised, resulting in a more severe case.
MDH will not be providing additional information to protect patient confidentiality.
“Human monkeypox is still circulating and can cause severe illness and death,” said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Jinlene Chan. “If you are eligible, such as being immunocompromised or at-risk, the best way to protect yourself against serious illness from MPX is by getting vaccinated.”
Monkeypox is a rare but serious illness caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which can infect humans and other animals. Most people who get MPX recover without any serious complications or the need for medical treatment.
People living with a condition that weakens the immune system, such as advanced or untreated HIV, AIDS, certain cancers, an organ transplant, or another immune deficiency disorder, may be more likely to have serious complications or need treatment. Getting vaccinated can protect against getting MPX or can reduce the severity of illness if you do get MPX.
MDH encourages all Maryland residents to follow the recommended prevention steps and to get vaccinated if exposed to MPX or are at higher risk of being exposed.
MPX vaccine is free and available throughout the state. People can register for an appointment using the Maryland Statewide Human Monkeypox (MPX) Vaccination Pre-Registration System.
Anyone who has MPX symptoms should contact their health care provider. People without a provider or insurance should contact their local health department.
Additional information is available on MDH’s website: health.maryland.gov/monkeypox.
In July, at the start of the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S., DC Health officials reported the highest number of cases per capita. Monkeypox cases peaked nationwide in early August. The first week of August the CDC reported 3,075 new MPX cases in the U.S. Cases have since dropped ten-fold. For the week of October 13-19 the CDC recorded 338 new MPX cases in the U.S.
Since the start of the outbreak, the Maryland Department of Health has identified 700 cases in the state. The CDC has reported 513 MPX cases in the District of Columbia since the start of the outbreak.
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