Thursday, December 8, 2022

Maryland resident with monkeypox dies

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Maryland public health officials on Friday reported the state’s first monkeypox-related death.

The deceased person was immunocompromised, which exacerbated the disease, officials said in a statement.

Nevada, California and Ohio have each reported a monkeypox-related death. Two people with monkeypox have died in New York City, a spokesman for the state health department said.

As of Friday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recorded six monkeypox-related deaths.

The CDC reports 27,884 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, including 513 in D.C., 700 in Maryland and 521 in Virginia since the outbreak began in May.

The Maryland Department of Health, citing patient confidentiality, would not release additional information about the person who died.

How to get a monkeypox vaccine in the D.C. region

After an initial spike, new monkeypox infections have waned, which public health officials attributed to changes in behavior and the uptake of the two-dose monkeypox vaccine.

“Human monkeypox is still circulating and can cause severe illness and death,” Jinlene Chan, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health services, said in a statement. “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.”

In the District, which has the highest case rate per capita compared with any state, more than 37,000 vaccine doses had been administered as of Monday. D.C. public health officials made getting vaccinations easier when they eliminated preregistration, transitioned to an entirely walk-up system and merged monkeypox vaccine clinics with existing coronavirus vaccine centers.

By late September, D.C., Maryland and Virginia had all expanded eligibility criteria to include any person, of any sexual orientation or gender, who has had anonymous or multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks.

This includes people considered highest-risk: gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men; transgender men and transgender women; sex workers; and staff at bathhouses, saunas or sex clubs.

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