The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new warning to health care providers on Thursday about serious illness in people with monkeypox.
The alert comes as Ohio reported that an individual with monkeypox has died – the third known death of a monkeypox patient in the United States.
Ohio listed the death in an update to its monkeypox outbreak online dashboard. No further details were provided, including whether the death was caused by the virus itself or whether other conditions may have contributed.
“The CDC is aware of the reported death of one person with serious illnesses who tested positive for monkeypox in Ohio,” Kathleen Conley, spokeswoman for the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN on Thursday. United States. CNN has contacted the Ohio Department of Health for more information.
The first American death from monkeypox was confirmed this month in Los Angeles County. The county public health department and the CDC said the person had a severely weakened immune system and was hospitalized. No further information will be made public, the ministry said.
A Harris County, Texas person who had monkeypox died in August, but the role of the virus in that death has not been confirmed.
Deaths from monkeypox are extremely rare, and babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk. Among more than 67,000 cases reported worldwide in the current outbreak, there have been 27 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 25,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States, but recent case trends suggest the epidemic is slowing in the United States.
The drop in the number of cases could reflect the increase in the number of people vaccinated against the virus. This week, the CDC announced that it is expanding eligibility for the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to high-risk people who have not been exposed to the virus.
According to data released by the CDC on Wednesday, men at high risk of monkeypox because they have sex with other men or because they are living with HIV were 14 times more likely to be infected if they were unvaccinated compared to those who had been vaccinated for at least two weeks. after their first dose of vaccine.
The CDC said Thursday that some people in the United States who have been infected with monkeypox during the ongoing outbreak have had “serious manifestations” of the disease, prolonged hospitalizations or “substantial” health problems.
The agency’s health alert notes that severe monkeypox can occur in anyone, and most people diagnosed during this outbreak had mild or moderate illness. Most people whose disease has been severe have had HIV with “substantial immunosuppression,” he says.
Some of the serious illnesses have included:
- Coalescing or necrotic lesions requiring extensive surgical treatment or limb amputation
- Lesions in sensitive areas like the mouth, urethra, rectum, or vagina that cause severe pain and affect daily activities
- Intestinal damage with significant swelling, leading to obstruction
- Lesions causing scarring with “significant” effects in areas such as the genitals, intestines or face
- Involvement of multiple organ systems and associated conditions, such as encephalitis, myocarditis, conjunctivitis, and corneal ulcerations
The advisory urges healthcare providers to be aware of the risk factors for severe monkeypox and states that anyone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox should be tested for HIV. Providers should also check to see if the person’s immune system may be weakened by another condition or medication.
Treatment of monkeypox in people with weakened immune systems should involve stopping any drugs that can affect the immune system, providing antiretroviral therapy to people with HIV, and possibly using drugs such as than tecovirimat, known as Tpoxx.
The CDC says people who have been exposed to monkeypox through sexual contact should get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.