Active cases of COVID-19 in Moniteau County have risen back to the double digits in recent weeks, numbering as high as 17 at one time on June 24, as a new variant of the virus rears its head in Missouri.
As of press time Tuesday, active cases stand at 10, five of which were newly added to the tally Monday. Total cases since the start of the pandemic last year continue to inch toward 2,000, with 1,980 recorded in total so far.
According to the state's COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, an estimated 23.9 percent of Moniteau County residents have completed vaccination, a share that hasn't risen much during the month of June.
Last Wednesday, the Moniteau County Health Center shared a health advisory from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) warning of the emergence of the "Delta" variant of coronavirus in the United States. Per the release, social distancing and appropriate masking measures remain important countermeasures. DHSS also urged those who are eligible to get vaccinated, citing this as "the most effective and long-lasting tool for protection from this infection."
According to the release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the Delta variant accounted for 20 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States; DHSS genetic surveillance of COVID-19 cases found that at least one case of the Delta variant had been detected in 35 counties across all regions of the state as of last week, and just more than 67 percent of all Delta variants identified in Missouri were from the southwest region of the state alone. It was named a variant of concern in the United States by the CDC June 15.
Per the release, top symptoms of the Delta variant include headache, followed by runny nose and sore throat. Fever and cough were less common, and loss of smell wasn't in the top 10. Most cases, according to the release, were identified in young people who hadn't been vaccinated yet. The variant also seemed to be far more transmissible, with every person infecting several others.
The DHSS continues to urge health care providers and the public to remain vigilant of the possibility of Delta virus infection.