Virginia reports first monkeypox death

Patient lived in the Eastern Health Region of Virginia
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 10:34 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health has reported the commonwealth’s first death from mpox - the disease formerly named monkeypox.

“The patient was an adult resident of the Eastern Health Region of Virginia,” VDH said in a news release.

To protect patient confidentiality, VDH says it will not release any additional information about the death.

“Our thoughts are with the decedent’s family at this difficult time,” said State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH. “Mpox is a serious disease, especially for those with weakened immune systems. If you have been exposed to mpox or have symptoms consistent with the disease, we urge you to seek medical consultation now.”

Symptoms of mpox include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash.

VDH says people who are diagnosed with mpox should 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.

“People who may have been exposed to mpox should receive the vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the chance of developing mpox after exposure,” VDH said on it website. “The vaccine is most effective if administered within four days of exposure, but it may be administered up to 14 days after exposure.”

For more information about the vaccine, contact your local health department.