Local health officials have confirmed the deaths of six individuals who screened positive for monkeypox; 2 in New York City, 2 in Chicago, 1 in Nevada, and one in Maryland. As reported by the Chicago Department of Health, the two people who tested positive for monkeypox and later died had various underlying health issues, including impaired immune systems (CDPH). An immunocompromised Maryland person with a severe case of monkeypox died, according to the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).
The initial death from monkeypox in the United States was reported in September, and it occurred in Los Angeles County. There was a death in August related to monkeypox in Houston, but it has not been determined whether or not the virus was the cause. The first fatality from monkeypox in Ohio was recorded in late September, albeit the person had other health issues as well.
How to determine the cause of death?
In some cases, it may be impossible to ascertain whether or not a death was caused by monkeypox. The death must be linked to the virus, and forensic pathologists must determine which organs were specifically affected by the infection.
The infection must be systemic, meaning it affects the entire body, or it must attack a major organ for death to occur. They don’t just succumb to the virus; it’s the infection itself that becomes fatal. That is the distinction you must make, and it’s an important one. The difficulty, in my opinion, lies in determining not just whether or not an organ is harmed but also to what amount, as no one will label it as a cause of death until that is established.
Although the number of newly reported cases of monkeypox in the United States has been declining over the past several weeks, the danger of serious disease or death, particularly in immunocompromised people, continues to cause concern. Up until last Friday, the CDC has received reports of 27,884 possible or confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States.