New York City health officials announced two monkeypox-linked deaths on Friday, the first fatalities linked to the virus in the five boroughs, though few details on the individuals were immediately available.
According to the CDC, the United States has reported four monkeypox-linked deaths since the 2022 outbreak began, though the last data update was Thursday. The first fatality was reported in California in September.
New York City officials didn't immediately release demographic or other information about the two residents who died, including whether they had underlying conditions, instead offering condolences in a brief statement.
"We are deeply saddened by the two reported deaths and our hearts go out to the individuals' loved ones and community. Every effort will be made to prevent additional suffering from this virus through continued community engagement, information-sharing, and vaccination," the statement read.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
As of Oct. 17, the city has recorded at least 3,695 known cases of the virus. Since reaching its peak at the end of July, the outbreak of cases in New York City has dropped significantly, down to single-digit daily numbers by the beginning of this month.
To date, more than 143,000 first and second doses of the monkeypox vaccine have been administered.
"It appears that these deaths did occur in individuals who are either immunocompromised and have underlying health conditions," Dr. Purvi Parikh, of NYU Langone Health, told News 4.
New Yorkers who received their first doses are strongly advised to get their second doses 28 days after their first. Walk-in appointments are available.
To find a vaccine location by you, go to https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/.
Additionally, the city announced it will refer to monkeypox as MPV since the "previous name is an inaccurate and stigmatizing label for a virus that is primarily affecting a community that has already suffered a long history of bigotry."
For more information, click here.