Va. announces 1st monkeypox death

The Virginia Department of Health on Thursday announced the first death in the commonwealth of a person with monkeypox, which the department is calling mpox.

The person was an adult who lived in the Eastern Health Region of Virginia, which includes Chesapeake, the Eastern Shore, Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach and more.

“Our thoughts are with the decedent’s family at this difficult time,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Colin M. Greene in a statement. “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.”

The symptoms to watch out for are fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash. Contact a doctor if you detect these.

For more people, the department said, the disease is painful but not life-threatening. It’s spread by close contact with an infected person.

There’s a vaccine; you should contact your local health department to see whether you’re eligible; it works best between four and 14 days after an exposure.

Find out more at the commonwealth’s mpox website.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up