As the monkeypox outbreak continues to spread worldwide, cases across the U.S. are climbing. And on Monday, Los Angeles County reported what is believed to be the first recorded U.S. death linked to the virus.
Confirmed cases of monkeypox have reached more than 59,600 worldwide, according to Wednesday numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak, first spotted in Europe in late April, has reached 103 countries – the vast majority in nations that hadn't previously had significant caseloads of the rare, viral infection.
In addition to the California death, the CDC has confirmed that 18 people outside the U.S. have died of the disease in 2022. Still, the world's largest monkeypox outbreak belongs to the U.S.
The U.S. had reported 22,774 confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases as of Wednesday, per the CDC. Highly-populated states are leading the numbers – with 4,300 confirmed cases in California, followed by 3,694 confirmed cases in New York.
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California monkeypox death, possible prior death in Texas
On Monday, Los Angles County health officials announced that a resident had died from monkeypox, with the cause of death confirmed by the autopsy. The patient was severely immunocompromised and had been hospitalized, officials said.
It's possible that this marks the first recorded U.S. death from monkeypox, but health officials are also investigating whether monkeypox contributed to the August death of a Texas adult. That patient was also severely immunocompromised, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.
Monkeypox vaccines in the US
Many have criticized the Biden administration for not acting more quickly at the start of the outbreak, including a slow launch on testing and vaccine rollout to meet demand, but the White House said last week that it was optimistic about rising vaccinations.
In order to stretch the nation's limited supply, U.S. health officials authorized a plan on Aug. 9 to give people one-fifth of the usual dose of the Jynneos vaccine, citing research that suggests the reduced amount is about as effective. This came days after the Biden administration announced a nationwide public health emergency.
As of Sept. 8, more than 460,000 doses have been given, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the deputy coordinator of the White House national monkeypox response, said last week.
The administration has also promised to ramp up vaccination offerings at large LGBTQ events, like Pride festivals, around the country in the coming weeks.
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Monkeypox does not usually cause serious illness – however, it can result in hospitalization or death. The virus is spread through close, physical contact. The current outbreak is primarily affecting men who have sex with men (93% of U.S. cases), but health officials stress that the virus can infect anyone.
However, experts have also stressed concerns of worsening racial disparities in the reported cases. Latino and Black people have been disproportionately infected.
Monkeypox cases by state
Here's where confirmed cases stand across U.S. states and territories, according to CDC numbers from Wednesday, September 13:
District of Columbia: 473
New Hampshire: 27
New Jersey: 633
New Mexico: 33
New York: 3,694
North Carolina: 435
North Dakota: 5
Puerto Rico: 155
Rhode Island: 61
South Carolina: 133
South Dakota: 2
West Virginia: 10
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Contributing: Celina Tebor, Cady Stanton, Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY. The Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Monkeypox state cases: New York, California numbers amid US emergency