An elderly Alaska man has become the first known fatality from the recently discovered Alaskapox virus, according to state health officials.

The man, residing in the remote Kenai Peninsula and under cancer treatment, succumbed to the Alaskapox virus after being hospitalized last November, marking a significant milestone in the understanding of this disease. Alaskapox, related to smallpox and cowpox, manifests symptoms like rash and swollen lymph nodes, and its transmission, possible from animals to humans, is still under study. The deceased was in contact with a stray cat, leading to speculation about potential transmission routes for the virus.