Breaking News
More () »

Texas confirms first death of person with monkeypox

The adult person lived in Harris County who was severely immunocompromised, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Editor's Note: The attached video is from Aug. 19, 2022. 

State health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox in Texas.

The adult person lived in Harris County and was severely immunocompromised. The case is under investigation to determine what effect monkeypox had in the person's death, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

“Monkeypox is a serious disease, particularly for those with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “We continue to urge people to seek treatment if they have been exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms consistent with the disease.”

DSHS said that people should contact their health care provider if they have fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash. Those who are diagnosed with monkeypox should stay home and avoid close contact until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.

According to the state health department, monkeypox is painful but generally not life-threatening. 

Ways to help prevent the spread of monkeypox include:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone with a new, unexplained rash.
  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact in large crowds where people are wearing minimal clothing, such as nightclubs, festivals, raves, saunas, and bathhouses.
  • Do not share cups, utensils, bedding or towels with someone who is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

People exposed to monkeypox are eligible to be vaccinated against the disease, and some people at high risk of infection may also be eligible for vaccination.

RELATED: Monkeypox patients advised to avoid household pets

RELATED: Universities in East Texas are taking extra precautions as monkeypox cases rise

Before You Leave, Check This Out