Another Struck Dead! 
Is a Vaccine’s Approval Imminent?
 
COVID-19 claims another local life.
 
In an ever surging pandemic experiencing record numbers across the commonwealth of Kentucky and the entire globe, the news got a bit more grim even here in our little nook of the universe. In numbers just released by the Breathitt County Health Department, it appears we have now endured 285-total infections with 91-of those cases being “active,” and therefore “contagious."
 
That is just a staggering number in a county which was down to 7-active cases less than a month ago. We looked up the cause of the virus’s spread online, as it would appear from the numbers we could use a refresher.
 
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. According to information released by the World Health Organization, we believe the main way the virus spreads is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. One may also be able to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.
 
This virus doesn’t result in symptoms manifesting in all of its infected. However, one may spread the virus regardless of whether the person is symptomatic. 
 
Coming into the holiday season, it is being suggested we forego large family gatherings to celebrate either Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. People came in contact with the virus when in close contact with each other which is determined to be a distance less than 6-feet. 
 
Staying socially distant and not either touching or handling surfaces and/or equipment subject to frequent use or touching from others. If you do happen to handle or touch such a surface, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap if available, for a period of 20-seconds before touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes. 
 
On the vaccine front, there has been some movement and it is encouraging. The company, Moderna, said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was proving to be highly effective in a major trial, a second dash of hope in the global race for a shot to tame a resurgent coronavirus that is now killing more than 8,000 people a day worldwide. Moderna claims its vaccine appeared to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s ongoing study. 
 
A week ago, competitor Pfizer announced its own COVID-19 vaccine which appeared to be roughly as effective as the one Moderna has announced. Both companies appear on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S.
 
Dr. Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s president, welcomed the “really important milestone” and said that having similar results from two different companies was what was most reassuring. “That should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives,” Hoge told the Associated Press.
 
“It won’t be Moderna alone that solves this problem,” he added. “It’s going to require many vaccines” to meet the global demand.
 
Here’s to hoping these vaccines are ready for consumption sooner rather than later. Our efforts at containment don’t seem to be doing much at present. 
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