CDC says additional investigation needed in death of person with monkeypox

During the White House monkeypox response team briefing on Tuesday, the CDC’s Dr. Jennifer McQuiston said more investigation is needed in the death of an individual from Texas who had monkeypox, to see if the disease played a role in his death.

Video transcript

- There's a report from the Houston area of a patient with confirmed monkeypox infection who has died. Do you have any information about that case to share? And now, that somebody has died in the US, does that change the messaging to the public at all?

JENNIFER MCQUISTON: Hi, thanks for that. Yeah, CDC has been in touch with Texas and Harris County. And we are aware that they're reporting a death in a patient that did test positive for monkeypox. It's our understanding this patient also had underlying health conditions and had a number of things going on. And I think that additional investigation is needed to know what role monkeypox may or may not have played in their deaths. So we'll be reporting that out as soon as we have more information.

I think it's important to emphasize that deaths due to monkeypox while possible remain very rare. In most cases, people are experiencing infection that resolves over time. And there have been very few deaths even reported globally. Out of over 40,000 cases around the world only a handful of fatalities have been reported.

It's serious and our hearts certainly go out to this family who have lost a loved one. And while we are doing further investigations to find out what role monkeypox may have played, it's important to focus that we have mitigation measures in place to prevent monkeypox. Get vaccinated. If you're sick, go to a doctor. Get tested. And if you have severe illness, there are treatments that are available.