Texas authorities on Tuesday confirmed the first US death linked to monkeypox, but said they are still investigating the role the disease played in the death of the “severely immunocompromised” patient.

So far, there have been no other reports of monkeypox deaths in the United States during the recent outbreak, and few have died worldwide.

“The case is under investigation to determine the role monkey pox played in the death,” Texas health authorities said in a statement.

They indicated that the patient was an adult whose immune system was severely weakened.

“I think additional research is needed to know what role monkeypox may or may not have played in their deaths,” Jennifer McQuiston of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a news conference.

“It is important to emphasize that deaths from monkeypox, while possible, remain very rare,” she said, noting that only a “handful” of people had died of the more than 40,000 cases recorded during the current outbreak. .

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So far, the United States has seen 18,100 cases of monkey pox. According to data from health authorities, the number of new infections seems to have decreased slightly recently.

The epidemic mainly affects gay and bisexual men and most transmissions take place during sexual intercourse.

According to a CDC survey last week, since learning about the outbreak, about half of men who have sex with other men have reduced the number of partners they have, the number of one-night stands or use dating apps to seek sex. . .

The United States has focused its response to the epidemic on the distribution of vaccines. The government has announced that doses will be made available specifically during major LGBTQ events, including Atlanta’s “Black Pride,” two events in Oakland, California, and the Southern Decadence festival in New Orleans this weekend.

US health authorities have also launched an initiative to target smaller events, especially to reach minorities; e.g. the “the house” [music] and ballroom community,” which “attract a lot of young people and people of color,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, White House deputy coordinator for epidemic response.

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