Meanwhile, NIH starts enrollments in trial testing smaller dosage of monkeypox vaccine.
As Mary Chastain noted, the media was very careful of the way it reported the death of an immunocompromised person who was infected with monkeypox. The death in Texas was the first fatality associated with the virus, though it may not have been directly the cause of death.
Now there has been a second death in this country associated with monkeypox, and the press continues to be restrained.
Los Angeles County officials said this week that they were investigating the death of a person who had been diagnosed with monkeypox to see if the illness was a contributing cause of death.
It is the second known death of a person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, which has reported more cases of the viral illness this year than anywhere in the world. Health officials are investigating what, if any, role monkeypox played in the two deaths.
Dr. Rita Singhal, chief medical officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a news conference on Thursday that an autopsy was being conducted on the person who died in the county and that it could take days or weeks to get the results. Dr. Singhal did not say whether the person who died had any underlying medical conditions, as was the case in the earlier fatality, in Texas.
“We are early in the investigation and do not have additional details available at this time,” Dr. Singhal said. “As soon as details become available, we will share them while maintaining confidentiality and privacy.”
It turns out a significant number of the over 21,000 American monkeypox cases are in California.
California currently has the largest monkeypox outbreak in America at 4,140 cases diagnosed.
Almost half of infections are in Los Angeles — 1,805 recorded to date.
Health officials in the state say nearly all are in men, and more than 95 percent of them were gay or bisexual. The average age of patients is 35 years.
In recent weeks, however, America’s monkeypox outbreak has appeared to peak in line with that in other nations as health officials finally get on top of the virus.
At the height of the outbreak at the end of August 491 cases were being recorded every day on average.
But this has since more than halved to 242 cases on September 7, the latest date that data is available.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health has started enrollments for trials involving an alternative method of administering Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos, which requires smaller dosages.
U.S. health regulators last month authorized injecting the shot intradermally in adults, meaning between layers of the skin rather than below the skin, in an effort to stretch out low vaccine supplies.
This alternative intradermal dosing regime will allow health care providers to administer up to five times the number of vaccine doses per vial of shot.
The NIH trial will enroll 200 people between 18 and 50 years of age, who have not been previously vaccinated across eight U.S. research sites.
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