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37. Healthcare Workers Hit by COVID Need Workers Comp  
"Kevin Kavanagh, MD. In a wide-ranging discussion, Kavanagh—a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board—says that the nation isn’t doing nearly enough to help those on the frontlines battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Kavanagh says that “these frontline healthcare workers are putting their lives at risk, and also the lives of their families and loved ones. And they need to be given support; at least proper protective equipment. In my opinion, they should get presumptive workers comp, if they start to develop problems. This is a significant problem.” The public isn’t taking the disease seriously enough and leaders are not leading."  Infection Control Today.  Nov. 17, 2020.
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/healthcare-workers-stricken-by-covid-need-workers-comp  

    
36.  Viewpoint: Healthcare Workers Not Being Protected from COVID
Faced with greater than three times the number of cases as the last surge, along with exponential growth with no end in sight, there is little hope healthcare workers can safely treat patients without a drastic change in policy and a more productive and secure supply line.  Infection Control Today. Nov. 16, 2020.   References   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-healthcare-workers-not-being-protected-from-covid  
   
35.  Viewpoint: Quackery Might Stall Progress Against COVID-19
The worst-case scenario is that if an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine is found, a large segment of our population will elect to use hydroxychloroquine or another ineffective treatment instead, allowing the virus to continue to thrive, and devastate our nation. As a nation, we can easily defeat this virus, but it requires us to trust modern science and embrace a national strategy coordinated by public health officials and our federal government. Let’s not embrace attitudes and views of the 1800’s.  Infection Control Today.  Nov. 7, 2020.    References     https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-quackery-might-stall-progress-against-covid-19
  

34.  COVID Vaccine: What Infection Preventionists Need to Know
Kevin Kavanagh, MD: "Infection preventionists will need to make sure that they still have access to adequate PPE, even if the vaccine comes out [and they] really need to look at the experimental group that was used for the EUA."   And believe me, if I was a frontline healthcare worker at my age, a vaccine would really have to have a lot of complications and concerns before I would not get it. Now that's just a personal view. Because if it adds any armor to protect me from a highly infectious disease that's very prevalent in our community, that has a high rate of fatality, and even a higher rate of chronic disability, I would opt for that vaccine.    https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/covid-vaccine-what-infection-preventionists-need-to-know 
 
33.  FDA Panel Reviews Many Challenges Facing a COVID Vaccine  -- Vaccines: Safety & Efficacy

The overall cost for society is far too high for a flawed and relaxed vaccine approval process. If the vaccine has low effectivity and primarily prevents mild disease, it will offer little protection to society and may cause inconceivable harm. To paraphrase Peter Luri, MD, MPH, from the Center for Science in Public Interest—The benefits of a minimally effective vaccine can be negated if the public relaxes wearing masks and social distancing. But even worse, if the vaccine is ineffective, it will further fuel the antivaccine movement for decades to come.  Infection Control Today.  Oct. 25, 2020.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/fda-panel-reviews-many-challenges-facing-a-covid-vaccine      References 
 

32.  Viewpoint: The “Not So” Great Barrington Declaration
Recently, an international group of scientists signed a declaration advocating for achieving herd immunity from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by opening communities and business, while protecting the vulnerable with "focused protection." The Declaration states: "A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals." But to be honest, I’m not sure how this can be done.
Currently, the United States is undergoing a third peak of infections on our first wave and the metrics, of cases and test positivity rates are increasing.
For infection preventionists and frontline healthcare workers, the Great Barrington Declaration places their lives and livelihood at risk. A field hospital has been activated in Wisconsin and the state is at risk of running out of hospital beds and trained staff.  Infection Control Today.  Oct. 15, 2020. 
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-the-not-so-great-barrington-declaration    References
  
31.  Q&A: Are Infection Preventionists Being Misinformed?
Kevin Kavanagh, MD: “Many of the infection preventionists over the last six months now have more experience than many of the policymakers up in DC, because they’ve lived it firsthand. And they’ve seen how COVID-19 can spread. And they’re starting to develop a good idea of how to stop it.” “There have been a number of statements from the CDC or at least with the CDC label on it, which have been disturbing,” Kavanagh tells ICT®. Some of those disturbing statements can be attributed to the fact that the CDC and the rest of the world didn’t quite know what it was dealing with, but not all of them. Kavanagh worries that political pressure may be at work. One of the ways infection preventionists (IPs) can educate themselves is to look at what’s being done in other countries, and read the comments under pre-print studies. Also, experience counts, and IPs have now had months of dealing with the coronavirus.  Infection Control Today.  Oct. 9, 2020. 
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/q-a-are-infection-preventionists-being-misinformed-  
 
30.  School Daze: COVID-19 Spreads Fear, Confusion:
"Opening schools should depend upon low rates of viral spread in the community, widespread testing, rigorous following of public health guidelines, and upgrading the physical infrastructure of our buildings. Our schools are anything but healthy buildings.18 Concerns have existed for decades regarding both the air quality and the crowded conditions our children are exposed to. COVID-19 should be viewed as an opportunity for transformation, allowing us to build a better school system with smaller class sizes for better education and implement strategies to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases"  Infection Control Today Oct 2020. (Page 28)
https://cdn.sanity.io/files/0vv8moc6/infenctioncontrol/
5f2ddf41a688625d1f8afd54dcb8e87d7cb5cbfa.pdf   References
 
29.  Trick or Treat … or COVID-19? Yes it is Airborne
Traditional trick or treating is viewed as a high-risk-activity by the CDC. Of course, we all knew Halloween would be problematic. An important caveat for Halloween is not to use your Halloween mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It will offer very little protection. These recommendations contain many important lessons both for Halloween and how we should be living our lives in general. And Yes it is Airborne.  Infection Control Today.  Sept. 28, 2020.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/trick-or-treat-or-covid-19-      References
 
28.  Eli Lilly Neutralizing Antibodies: Breakthrough for COVID-19 Treatment?
Eli Lilly announced preliminary results to their SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody product, LY-CoV555, which was reported to have spectacular results with a 72% decrease in hospitalizations or ER visits when mildly or moderately symptomatic patients are given the drug within 3 days of diagnosis.
As observed in the Eli Lilly study, those newly diagnosed patients who are obese or have advanced age are the most likely to become hospitalized, and I feel initially this innovative product should be targeted toward these high-risk patients.  Infection Control Today.  Sept. 17, 2020.    Download Original Article    References

Updated Oct. 8, 2020.  Downloaded Article  (The article was updated again on Nov. 10 by ICT Editorial Board Staff)
   
27.  Taking Aim at Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria During COVID - A review of the Fall 2020 PACCARB Meeting.
Patients afflicted with COVID-19 have an increased susceptibility to antibiotic resistant infections both from prolonged hospitalizations and the use of immunocompromising agents such as dexamethasone. Infection Control Today.  Sept. 16, 2020. 
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/taking-aim-at-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-during-covid    References
  
26.  Is COVID-19 Primarily a Heart and Vascular Diseases?
Thus, the once thought asymptomatic patients who luckily dodged a bullet and were spared from the ravages of the disease, may indeed be truly sick. A significant portion of them may develop myocarditis along with vascular vasodilation with resultant hypoxemia. This pathological process could easily be more significant than the pulmonary effects of the virus, since it is present in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. And could explain the debilitating symptoms of fatigue and mental fog which “long-haulers” are experiencing, many of which had a mild initial illness. Infection Control Today.  Sept. 8, 2020.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/is-covid-19-primarily-a-heart-and-vascular-diseases    References
  
25.  Viewpoint: Infection Preventionist Guide to Dealing with COVID Misinformation
"It is imperative that infection preventionists engage and combat this messaging on social media and wherever it occurs. To not do so, allows misinformation to fan the pandemic, placing all of our lives at risk."
After one leave retorts to the misinformation, "you will notice that you have numerous exchanges with one individual. That this individual has left a junkyard full of highly complex and intwined web of misinformation. Yet for all of this work, when you go to the troll’s home page, it will most likely be blank. This tells you may be dealing with a professional. If the troll responded to you throughout the entire day, he may well be on a payroll." Sept. 7, 2020.  Infection Control Today.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-infection-preventionist-guide-to-dealing-with-covid-misinformation    References
 
24.  Q&A: Flu Data Show Potency of Anti-COVID Tactics Like Masking, Hand Hygiene
Wear a mask, good hand hygiene, follow social distancing guidelines: The strategies just mentioned might snuff out COVID-19 in the long term, says Kavanagh, if everybody follows them. “But when you look at the flu, which isn’t as infectious, you would expect it to just annihilate that type of a pandemic and organism and that’s what we’re seeing in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Kavanagh. “Now, that of course is contingent that we follow this guidance, which as you know, is anywhere but universally accepted by the American public.”  Aug. 18, 2020.  Infection Control Today.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/q-and-a-flu-data-show-potency-of-anti-covid-tactics-like-masking-hand-hygiene 
 
23.  The 2020 Flu: Dud or Devastation, It is Up To You
"This year we have to do more than just rely on the flu vaccine. Avoiding the flu plus COVID-19 catastrophe is contingent on the US widely embracing public health guidance of wearing masks, meticulous hand hygiene and social distancing."  "If one looks at the data from the CDC, the flu became almost nonexistent in the United States by the end of March, with a very steep drop-off in cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) data from the Southern Hemisphere is even more surprising. Summer is their peak Flu season. But unlike previous years no viral specimens were submitted to the WHO from many countries during the Summer months."  Infection Control Today.  Aug. 18, 2020.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/the-2020-flu-dud-or-devastation-it-is-up-to-you    References

22.  Infection Preventionists Might be Needed in Schools
Similar to our healthcare system as a whole, COVID-19 is shedding a light on deficiencies and the dearth of personal safeguards in our schools. Let us not forget, schools are a nidus for spreading the flu and other diseases. Opening schools should depend upon low rates of viral spread in the community, widespread testing, rigorous following of public health guidelines and upgrading the physical infrastructure of our buildings. COVID-19 should be viewed as an opportunity for transformation, allowing us to build a better school system with smaller class sizes for better education and implement strategies to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases.  Infection Control Today.  Aug. 10, 2020.

21.  New Study: Hydroxychloroquine Works in Monkeys, Not Humans
Thus, at this point, there is no compelling evidence to recommend the use of hydroxychloroquine for clinical use and several large organizations have suspended research involving this drug. There has been an enormous amount of valuable scientific resources which have been devoted to answering this scientific, now political, issue. These resources would have been better spent on more promising treatment modalities, such as studying Camostat mesilate or nafamostat mesylate therapy for COVID-19, a compound which has been shown to block TMPRSS2 .  Infection Control Today.  Aug. 3, 2020.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/new-study-hydroxychloroquine-works-in-monkeys-not-humans   
  
20.  National Reporting System for All Dangerous Pathogens Needed
After decades of reluctance to implement a national reporting system, when COVID-19 came along we witnessed almost overnight the formulation of case definitions and comprehensive national reporting from all healthcare facilities.  A dangerous pathogen is a dangerous pathogen; we should not discriminate on our approach to COVID-19. The nursing home reporting policies for COVID-19 need to be adopted systemwide for all dangerous pathogens and our infrastructure permanently enhanced.  One may think that enhancement is a forgone conclusion. But we did not learn these lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu or from the Ebola, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. Six months or 6 years after this epidemic our resolve may wane. IPs need to document their experiences and keep telling their stories so our memories of this horrific ordeal do not fade.  Infection Control Today.  July 20, 2020.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/covid-19-experience-suggests-need-for-national-reporting-system-for-dangerous-pathogens  
    
19.  Viewpoint: Despite Happy Talk, We’re Far From Out of the COVID Woods
COVID-19 cases in many states have risen and the false narrative is that this is because of increased testing. But the rise in cases far outstrips the rise in testing... the young are not shielded from the viruses’ devastating effects. We need to take this pandemic seriously, the public needs to wear masks and practice social distancing. As stated by Avindra Nath, MD, the senior investigator at the Section of Infections of the Nervous System at National Institutes of Health: “It’s quite possible some will never get their health back." Infection Control Today.  June 22, 2020. 
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-despite-happy-talk-we-re-far-from-out-of-the-covid-woods 

18.  COVID-19 Experience Suggests Need for National Reporting System for Dangerous Pathogens
It is of utmost importance to screen healthcare staff and patients for dangerous pathogens along with the establishment of a national tracking system. The nursing home reporting policies for COVID-19 need to be adopted system wide for all dangerous pathogens and our infrastructure permanently enhanced.  One may think that enhancement is a forgone conclusion. But we did not learn these lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu or from the Ebola, SARS or MERS outbreaks. Six months or six years after this epidemic our resolve may wane. IPs need to document their experiences and keep telling their stories so our memories of this horrific ordeal do not fade.  Infection Control Today.  June 8, 2020.
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/covid-19-experience-suggests-need-national-reporting-system-dangerous-pathogens     
 
17.  Reopening After COVID-19 Needs to be Done Carefully
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, the board chairman of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USAsm, talks to Infection Control Today about the perils of reopening too quickly and the value of cloth masks. "What worries me the most about reopening is that people are going to say, 'Oh, it's over with' and not do any sort of protection, whether it's social distancing, wearing masks, not gathering in crowds. I really think that people will think, 'Well, we got this beat.'"  Infection Control Today.  May 28, 2020.
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/qa-reopening-after-covid-19-proceed-caution   
 
16.  Why the Public Should Wear Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Initially, the public was advised not to wear masks. However, this was before the importance of asymptomatic transmission was known. Recent studies have also underscored the growing importance of person-to-person transmission through the air. Guidance changed. It is now recommended for the public to wear cotton masks. This guidance is not intended to protect the wearer, but to help prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to others if they are an unknown asymptomatic carrier.   Infection Control Today.  May 27, 2020.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/why-public-should-wear-masks-during-covid-19-pandemic 
  
15.  When COVID-19 Knocks on Nursing Homes’ Doors, Systemic Problems Welcome It.
"Despite nursing homes becoming a nidus of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), the regulations for staffing infection preventionists (IPs) at nursing homes are far too lax. Nursing homes should have a full-time IP. Presently the regulations only specify a part-time IP without a specific required time commitment. In view of the large number of nursing home residents and the high drug-resistant carriage rate, a full-time position is certainly needed."  Infection Control Today.  May 7, 2020.
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/when-covid-19-knocks-nursing-homes-doors-systemic-problems-welcome-it    
  
14.  Viewpoint: COVID-19 Modeling: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.
"
We have now received our fourth projection on deaths. I'm not sure if it will be right or wrong, but the others have proven to not be correct, so I'm not hopeful for this one. That is actually good news because the last projection doubles the number of expected deaths to 134,475 by Aug 4, 2020."   Infection Control Today.  May 6, 2020.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/
viewpoint-covid-19-modeling-lies-damn-lies-and-statistics 
   
13.  Viewpoint: Have You Heard About the Herd? It’s a COVID-19 Fallacy.

"Strategies of social distancing, not gathering in large crowds, wearing masks and protecting those at increased risk are required to manage this epidemic. Returning to life as usual with the dependence on herd immunity in a non-vaccinated population to control spread is almost certainly a false narrative."  Infection Control Today.  April 29, 2020.  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-have-you-heard-about-herd-its-covid-19-fallacy  
 
12.  Kevin Kavanagh & Lindsay Calderon. Lessons of the Hydroxychloroquine Debacle: Solid COVID-19 Research Matters.
"In the new reality of making decisions with limited and incomplete data, it is important that decision makers and scientists are free from biases.  Biases can be financial and even geopolitical pressure created by the huge trade war and divisive rhetoric between the United States and China. In a time of great national fear and stress, we must be careful in both reporting and interpreting messaging, including the results of unconfirmed research. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of HCQ for unproven benefits, since these are powerful drugs which may also cause harm."
Infection Control Today.  April 26, 2020. https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/lessons-hydroxychloroquine-debacle-solid-covid-19-research-matters   
    
11 .   Viewpoint: CDC's Changing Guidance Underscores How COVID-19 Keeps Winning.
"Needless to say, additional PPE is desperately needed, hopefully both increased manufacturing and sterilization techniques will relieve the shortage. In addition, the strategy adopted by New York State to designate some facilities to exclusively treat COVID-19 patients and others for non-COVID-19 patients to help improve patient safety should be adopted in other areas of the nation.   We must make protecting our frontline healthcare workers and patients a priority. Rapid testing will go a long way in assuring the safety of patients by identifying asymptomatic carriers in healthcare workers and staff."  Infection Control Today.  April 15, 2020. https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-cdcs-changing-guidance-underscores-how-covid-19-keeps-winning   

  
10.  Viewpoint: As COVID-19 Spreads, Where's All the Money Hospitals Have Made?/em>
"There is no excuse for running a system which is lean on hospital rooms, supplies and staff. Net-profits and assets are desirable, but not at the expense of public safety. Hospital staff are being asked to see patients under draconian conditions and at the same time they do not have an adequate economic and healthcare safety net. Healthcare workers do not need paid sick leave, they need adequate PPE and worker's compensation benefits, if they become infected. IPs are placing both themselves and their families' lives at grave risk under the crisis management CDC infectious disease recommendations. That is the very least we can do for them."   Infection Control Today(redacted version).  April 10, 2020:  https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-covid-19-spreads-where%E2%80%99s-all-money-hospitals-have-made       

9.  Authorities are split on what to do if a person is already on ACE Inhibitors and ARBs
Many in the United States have advocated to stay the course, until more information is known.  Switching medications may be difficult at best.  At the least, until this controversy can be resolved, if you are on one of these medications one should perform strict social distancing and protect yourself from contracting COVID-19.  Staying safe at home is best and follow strict recommendations when contacting the public.   Infection Control Today.  April 7, 2020.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-what-do-about-ace-inhibitors-during-covid-19-pandemic    
  
Health Watch USAsm Summary of Recommendations Regarding ACE Inhibitors and ARBs with COVID-19.
 
8.  Churches Could be the Deadliest Places in the COVID-19 Pandemic.  
One may ask: Why am I calling out churches? The answer is asymptomatic spread and aerosolization of the virus from singing.   Infection Control Today.  April 3, 2020.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/churches-could-be-deadliest-places-covid-19-pandemic   
   
7.  As COVID-19 Knocks on Nursing Homes' Doors, Full-Time Infection Preventionists Needed More Than Ever. "Despite nursing homes becoming a nidus of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), the regulations for staffing infection preventionists (IPs) at nursing homes are far too lax. Nursing homes should have a full-time IP. Presently the regulations only specify a part-time IP without a specific required time commitment. In view of the large number of nursing home residents and the high drug-resistant carriage rate, a full time position is certainly needed." Infection Control Today. March 27, 2020.  Download PDF of Article  
  
6.  Evidence Continues to Link ACE Inhibitors to Severe COVID-19 Symptoms
There is mounting consensus that ACE inhibitors may be a primary driver of the severe symptoms. The concerns were originally raised in the Lancet. ACE inhibitors up regulate (increase) the ACE2 receptor. This is the receptor the COVID-19 virus uses to attack the lungs.  Infection Control Today.  March 26, 2020.   https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/evidence-continues-link-ace-inhibitors-severe-covid-19-symptoms    
  
Health Watch USAsm Summary of Recommendations Regarding ACE Inhibitors and ARBs with COVID-19.
        
5.  COVID-19: We'll Know We've Won the War Against COVID-19 When...
"Judging when we have won the war against the coronavirus is not simple. The good news is that we have the technology and know-how to confront and substantially mitigate these epidemics. What we have lacked is the willpower to implement this knowledge. If we are unable to rapidly transform our system and correct these flagrant deficiencies, then the worse projections from the Imperial College projections of 2.2 million United States citizen fatalities may come to pass" Infection Control Today. Mar. 20, 2020 (Online). https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/well-know-weve-won-war-against-covid-19-when      
   
4. COVID-19: IPs, Other Healthcare Workers at Greater Jeopardy Than Thought.
"Of extreme concern, of the 3711 Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers, 634 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) and of these 17.9% were asymptomatic and presumably could spread the virus." Infection Control Today. Mar. 17, 2020 (Online). https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/covid-19-ips-other-healthcare-workers-greater-jeopardy-thought   
  
3. Viewpoint: US Woefully Unprepared for COVID-19 Pandemic.
"A news commentator made the alarmist statement that we may get to the point where the national guard is escorting patients to a high school gym for placement on ventilators. This is of course a ridiculously misinformed statement since we do not have enough ventilators."
Infection Control Today. Mar. 11, 2020 (Online). https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-us-woefully-unprepared-covid-19-pandemic  
  
2. We’re Losing the Fight Against COVID-19 So Far.
"We seem to be at risk of entering into a blame game and "politicizing" the problems. Our response to this contagion shows severe flaws in our healthcare delivery system. As one government official stated, "We have for whatever reason and there are many good ones, designed a system based on very lean staffing practices based on just-in-time supply chains and purchasing." Infection Control Today. Mar. 9, 2020 (Online). https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/viewpoint-were-losing-fight-against-covid-19-so-far     
 
1. Infection Preventionists, Hospital Administrators Will Be on Frontlines of Coming COVID-19 Epidemic. "Preparation for the impending epidemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus is of utmost importance and will place a tremendous strain on our healthcare system that will require coordination between the IPs, administrators and the hospital's board. This impending epidemic underscores the importance of the work that the CDC is undertaking by using surveillance and quarantine strategies to delay entry and slow the spread of this pathogen." Infection Control Today. Feb. 27, 2020. https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/infection-preventionists-hospital-administrators-will-be-frontlines-coming-covid-19-epidemic  
       
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