1st US monkeypox death confirmed as cases top 18K: 5 latest updates

The U.S. confirmed its first monkeypox death Aug. 30 as the virus continues to spread nationwide, surpassing 18,000 total cases.

Below are five key monkeypox updates to know from the past week:

1. The first monkeypox death was confirmed in the U.S. Texas health officials reported the nation's first confirmed death in a person diagnosed with monkeypox Aug. 30. Officials said the individual was "severely immunocompromised" and are still investigating the case to determine what role monkeypox played in the death.

2. Monkeypox has spread to all 50 states. Every state in the U.S. has now reported at least one monkeypox case, with Wyoming becoming the 50th state to do so Aug. 22. California has reported the most cases at 3,291, followed by New York at 3,197 cases and Florida at 1,870, CDC data shows.

3. Some cities report early signs of a monkeypox plateau. Data from Chicago, New York City and San Francisco suggest the rate of new infections may be slowing, even as testing ramps up. 

4. Efforts to rename the virus progress. The World Health Organization has received numerous suggestions for what to rename the virus in an effort to reduce stigma and align with current best practices for naming diseases. Such suggestions include "humanpox," "lymphpox" and "mpox." A WHO committee will consider all proposals and vote on a new name, though the timeline is unclear.

5. CDC released new findings on monkeypox surface contamination. Monkeypox virus DNA was found on high contact surfaces in the Utah home of two infected individuals, a CDC report found. Current data suggests monkeypox is spreading via direct physical contact, though the report's authors said more research is needed to understand the prevalence of surface contamination and whether there is potential for indirect transmission. 

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