Texas reports first U.S. death in person with monkeypox

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported the first death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox in the state. Out of almost 18,000 cases of monkeypox reported, this is the first death in Texas.

DSHS says the person who died was severely immunocompromised and an investigation is underway to determine what role monkeypox played into the passing of the individual.

According to the CDC, over 99% of people who are infected with monkeypox are expected to survive, but those immunocompromised are a different story and it can be deadly.

In the end, monkeypox is painful and not life threatening, but Dr. Jan Patterson with UT Health San Antonio says it is still important to be safe to prevent yourself from being infected.

"Avoid close contact, close skin to skin contact with someone who has a new and unexplained rash and avoid close skin to skin contact in large crowds where people are wearing minimal clothing, don't share cups, eating utensils, bedding or towels with someone who is sick. Stay home when you are sick," she said.

Recently, Travis County administered just over 1,900 monkeypox vaccines at a clinic pulled together in less than 24 hours. Those were given to people who have been exposed to a known case of monkeypox. As more vaccines become available, eligibility will open up.

"If you think you've been exposed to monkeypox or are at risk of being exposed, you should talk to your health care provider and the health department because there is a vaccine available," said Dr. Patterson. 

Austin Public Health is also distributing 5,000 monkeypox vaccine doses to community partners. 

The Kind Clinic will make vaccines available from 9 am to 5 pm at their Koenig location until Wednesday. To make an appointment, go to kindclinic.org.