Texas reports what may be the first American death from monkeypox

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Monkeypox virus, illustration.

Thom Leach | Science photo library | Getty Images

Texas health officials said Tuesday that a person diagnosed with monkey pox has died in what may be the country’s first known fatality from the virus.

The patient was an adult with a severely compromised immune system living in the Houston area, health officials said. The case is under investigation to determine what role monkeypox played in the individual’s death, officials said.

Monkeypox is generally not life-threatening, but people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk for serious illness. Patients usually develop lesions that often resemble pimples or blisters and cause excruciating pain.

The US is currently battling the largest monkeypox outbreak in the world. According to CDC data, there are more than 18,000 cases nationwide, with infections now confirmed in every state, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.

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