State of Texas confirms first death involving patient with monkeypox

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 9:53 AM CDT
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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - The Texas Department of State Health Services on Tuesday confirmed the first death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox in Texas.

The patient in Harris County was a “severely immunocompromised” adult, officials said.

“Monkeypox is a serious disease, particularly for those with weakened immune systems,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt.

“We continue to urge people to seek treatment if they have been exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms consistent with the disease.”

Health authorities urge Texans to contact their health care provider if they have fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash.

Those diagnosed with monkeypox should stay home and avoid close contact with others until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.

For most people, infection with monkeypox is painful but not life threatening.

Health experts say monkeypox is a preventable disease that spreads through close contact with an infected person. There are things everyone should do to help prevent the spread of monkeypox:

  • 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 who have been exposed to a known case of monkeypox are eligible to be vaccinated against the disease. Some people at high risk of infection may also be eligible for vaccination.

DSHS is posting the latest information, guidance for the public, health care providers and others, and updating case counts at