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33.  Montana health director nominee once faced criticism over Kentucky's hepatitis A outbreak
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired Kentucky physician who runs the national watchdog group Health Watch USA, is among those who said Meier and his team needed to do more early on to curb the hepatitis outbreak as it made its way into Appalachia. Kavanagh said Meier’s handling of the outbreak provides a window into how he might handle the COVID crisis in Montana.
“But it could be a learning opportunity if failed strategies are corrected,” Kavanagh said. “The biggest question is: What did he learn in Kentucky?” Courier Journal.  Feb. 27, 2012.  
32.  Leaked video more comical than incendiary, but coach's conduct raises coronavirus concerns
“When you have two individuals indoors without cloth masks, that is a set up for transmission, which can be a disaster for the individuals in close contact,” said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, board chairman of Health Watch USA. “When they are public figures, it sets a bad example and may encourage other Kentuckians to do the same.”  “I don’t know what that means,” Kavanagh said. “Testing is not a for-sure guarantee that you won’t get transmission. Even vaccination is not for sure, especially with the new variants.  “One needs to do both masking and social distancing and when you’re indoors there’s a possibility neither will be effective because this virus can aerosolize.”  Americans grow increasingly susceptible to COVID-19 fatigue, tempted to cut corners and resume life as we once knew it. As vaccines are distributed and immunity increases, Kavanagh says, “I’m very worried that as a society we’re declaring victory and letting our guard down.”  Courier Journal.  Feb. 21, 2021.

31.  Legislators tell Beshear they’ll talk with him after votes to override vetoes; he says ‘See you in court,’ warns of fourth surge in cases 
"In an opinion piece for the Courier Journal, Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired Somerset physician and the chairman of Health Watch USA, walks through the dangers of the coronavirus variant that originated in the United Kingdom, noting that it may be 70% more infectious, 30% more lethal and more likely to infect children. He adds that the Brazil and the South Africa variants “are even more concerning.” That said, he said there is hope in President Biden’s seven-point plan that aims to create a standardized pandemic approach. He also writes that “For many, the virus is becoming a litmus test for reliable news sources,” noting that “unreliable sources rarely if ever correct reporting errors, which have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”"  Kentucky Health News.  Feb. 2, 2021.

30.  Goodbye to January 2021, COVID-19’s Worst Month (So Far)
There’s a strain of COVID that emerged in South Africa—E484K—that has experts even more concerned, because it seems as if the vaccines are less effective against that strain. Modern technology allows us to create a new vaccine or booster shot in a matter of weeks, if that’s in fact what’s needed. We don’t have to culture them anymore. But as Kevin Kavanagh, MD, and a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board, tells ICT®, the main goal at this point is to stop the spread of the new variants because if they take hold there’s this problem: You have to, in Kavanagh’s words, revaccinate the entire world. “And if we keep having these variants coming about every six months, because we’re spreading this virus like wildfire, it’s going to be very problematic.   Infection Control Today.  Feb. 1, 2021.
29.  B.1.1.7 Cornavirus Strain Now Said to Be More Deadly and Contagious
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, a member of Infection Control Today®'s Editorial Advisory Board said that "initial reports that the UK Variant is not more lethal than our current strain and that its increase in transmissibility was possibly due to an increase in viral production by the patient did not make sense. Since, increased viral load should produce a more severe disease in the patient. I was thus hoping for another mechanism, but it now looks like this strain may be more lethal after all and to make matters worse, it may have an increased propensity to infect children and young adults."   Kavanagh argues that now is the time for the CDC to be proactive in its outreach to other countries. "The new emerging coronavirus strains underscore the necessity of not only having increased vigilance on our shores and the need to expand our genomic surveillance in the United States, but also to reactivate and expand the CDC's foreign support services and personnel. Similar to Ebola we need to stop these new biological threats in the countries they emerge in, rather than let them spread around the globe and into the United States." Infection Control Today.  Jan. 22, 2021.   
28.  Pfizer COVID Vaccine Days Away From Approval
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, points out in an article on ICT®’s website that “the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is in short supply. The lion’s share of the doses are not expected to be delivered to the United States until late June or July, 2021. Moderna appears to have more available vaccines but the exact delivery dates are unknown.” "  Infection Control Today.  Dec. 11, 2020.  
27.  COVID Unleashes the ‘Lurking Scourge’ Candida Auris
"Kevin Kavanagh, MD, a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board, says that drug resistant C. Auris is a dangerous pathogen, it first came to attention back in 2015. “Presently, it is known to be highly infectious and can cause dangerous co-infections,” says Kavanagh.”C. Auris co-infections do occur in COVID-19 patients and if present the case-fatality-rate is 60%"  Infection Control Today.  Nov. 11, 2020.      
26.  Experts say COVID-19 vaccine will come with challenges and cautions after distribution
Even after a vaccine is approved for the novel coronavirus and is widely distributed, it will still be important to follow public-health recommendations to thwart the spread of the virus, including basic hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing a mask.
All that said, Kavanagh said if you are at high risk for COVID-19 or a frontline worker, it may be in your best interests to get the vaccine, after weighing the risks and benefits. As for the rest of the population, the months-long wait for universal distribution will give time for more research, he said: “By that time, there’ll be a lot more safety data, and data on the vaccine’s effectiveness.”  "  Ky Forward.  Nov. 3, 2020. 
25.  CDC Launches $180M Anti-infection Program for Healthcare Workers
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, another member of ICT®’s Editorial Advisory Board, says that “this efficient and highly accessible training is desperately needed as many states are making final plans for the opening of satellite hospitals and potentially assigning desperately needed staff with minimal experience in infectious disease. In addition, tracking and mandatory reporting of healthcare worker acquisitions and infections with dangerous pathogens such as COVID-19 is of utmost importance.  Infection Control Today.  Oct. 28, 2020.
24.  To 'celebrate' or not to celebrate Halloween; that is the question
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired Somerset physician who heads Health Watch USA, which focuses on infection control, reminded Kentuckians on the Jack Pattie Show on Lexington's WVLK that just because an activity is outdoors doesn't mean it's safe. He noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared traditional trick-or-treating, in which treats are handed to children who go door to door, a high-risk activity.
Don't think that wearing a Halloween mask, is going to protect you from the coronavirus, Kavanagh said. "If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised," he said. "The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.”
The CDC also advises against wearing both a regular mask and a costume mask: "Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask."  Kentucky Health News.  Oct. 26, 2020.  
23.  Healthcare-Acquired Infections Not Reported Enough
One of the problems with controlling HAIs has to do with the growth of antibiotic resistant pathogens.  Kevin Kavanagh, MD, a member of the Infection Control Today®'s Editorial Advisory Board, noted in an article that 500 people in the United States die each day from antibiotic resistant organisms. As mentioned, the data collected for the ID Week study are pre-COVID.
Kavanagh wrote that preliminary data revealed that "patients with COVID-19 were more likely to contract healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), possibly due to longer hospital stays. The most common MDRO infecting patients with COVID-19 was methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), followed closely by extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL)-producing organisms. MRSA caused just under half of the COVID-19 hospital-acquired antibiotic resistant infections."  " Infection Control Today. Oct. 23, 2020.
22.  Measuring Effects of Flu, COVID Co-Infections
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, another member of ICT®'s Editorial Advisory Board, said in a Q&A back in August that those methods used against COVID seem to be particularly effective against the flu. The rates of flu in the Southern Hemisphere and in even back in March in the United States "just plummeted."   "It's a very steep slope,” Kavanagh said in August. “And so one would ask, ‘Why did that happen?’ Well, it happened because of the use of masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing. These same public health initiatives and strategies which are very effective on COVID-19 are even more effective with the flu."  " Infection Control Today. Oct. 21, 2020.
21.  AHRQ Process Cuts Down on Antibiotic Overprescribing
"In the November issue of Infection Control Today®, Kevin Kavanagh, MD, writes about how COVID-19 has complicated the tracking of antibiotic resistant bacteria. 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,” writes Kavanagh, who is a member of ICT®'s Editorial Advisory Board. Kavanagh points out that patients with COVID-19 have longer hospital stays than patients with flu-like symptoms who have not been infected by the coronavirus. He also writes that COVID patients are much more likely to be hit by a healthcare-acquired infection, than non-COVID patients.
Kavanagh writes that preliminary data by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "found that during the pandemic, total hospitalizations in the United States decreased by approximately 25%. However, inpatient antibiotic usage did not markedly change. The most common types of antibiotics prescribed were ceftriaxone for presumptive community acquired pneumonia, which increased by 22% in April and then fell during the summer, and azithromycin, possibly used in conjunction with hydroxychloroquine, the rate of which increased by 55% in April and then also fell. It was evident to me that in both cases the usage pattern represents changes in both diagnostic ability and treatment recommendations."  " Infection Control Today. Oct. 21, 2020.
20.  Experts Forcefully Push Back on Barrington Declaration
Kavanagh, MD, a member of Infection Control Today®'s Editorial Advisory Board in his rebuttal to the Declaration.   Kavanagh wrote that “for infection preventionists and frontline healthcare workers, the Great Barrington Declaration places their lives and livelihood at risk." " Infection Control Today. Oct. 20, 2020.  

19.  Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: How COVID Spreads Indoors
"While reiterating that SARS-CoV-2 most commonly spreads through close contact (less than 6 feet, and for about 15 minutes) with a symptomatic or asymptomatic carrier, the CDC now suggests that the coronavirus is even more contagious than previously thought."
Well, yesterday the CDC again put the guidance on its website, acknowledging that aerosolized particles of the coronavirus can spread further than six feet and linger for a long time, particularly in poorly ventilated areas.
This might not come as a surprise to many experts who’ve been closely monitoring COVID-19. Certainly not to Kevin Kavanagh, MD, a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board and a frequent contributor to ICT®. Kavanagh recently pointed out that the CDC in fact has already acknowledged that the coronavirus can be aerosolized when it released recommendations on how people should approach the upcoming holidays.  Infection Control Today.  Oct. 6, 2020.
18.  President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump Test Positive for COVID
"Kevin Kavanagh, MD, is a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board. Kavanagh tells ICT®: “This is a testament to how easily this virus can spread. President Trump was in a testing bubble and relied at his rallies on social distancing. However, these rallies would be defined as a high-risk activity, since even outdoors—and not all were—loud vocalizations can aerosolized the virus. In an aerosolized form, the virus can travel much farther than 6 feet, live for up to 16 hours and defeat the protections afforded by a cotton mask. If one does not wear a mask, then the activity is at an even higher risk.” Infection Control Today. Oct. 3, 2020.  
17.  Somerset-area legislators decry Beshear's restrictions at Chamber meeting with little use of masks or social distancing 
The lawmakers from the Somerset area spoke to "a packed house" that included "a whole host of the community’s business and political leaders," reported Chris Harris of the Somerset Commonwealth Journal. The newspaper's editor, Jeff Neal, told Kentucky Health News that "There wasn’t a whole lot of social distancing, and since they were eating, there were not a lot of masks being used."
The event concerned Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired Somerset physician who heads Health Watch USA, which focuses on infection control in health care.
"Events like this are very problematic," Kavanagh told Kentucky Health News. "They usually have many cases or none. With the number of individuals present and the prevalence of the virus in Pulaski County, the odds are nothing will happen, but if the virus was present at the event it can be catastrophic. . . . "  
16.  Kentucky Derby 2020: Why health experts say they agree with Churchill Down's decision
“Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired Somerset physician who also had warned against allowing fans at the event, praised Friday's decision.
"It sends a very strong message to the community and Kentucky about how serious this pandemic really is," said Kavanagh, chairman of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USA.
Kavanagh said earlier this week that holding the event largely outdoors would have helped. But it still wouldn't account for people entering the racetrack through the building, passing through hallways, placing bets, buying food and drink, using restrooms or otherwise moving about, Kavanagh said.
And any cheering or shouting tends to "aerosolize" the virus and increase chances of spread, he said.
Though most people who contract the virus don't experience the severe and sometimes fatal symptoms associated with it, that doesn't mean it's not a risk to mingle in a crowd, he said. Even people who appear to have recovered from a less serious case of COVID-19 may be at risk for lasting heart, lung or kidney damage.
“This is one dangerous virus that we don’t know much about," Kavanagh said. "This lackadaisical attitude that you can go out and get infected and everything will be fine if you’re at low risk is just plain magical thinking.””  Yetter D.  Courier Jounal.  Aug. 22, 2020.
15.  Beshear says Kentucky Derby can safely host fans despite COVID-19. Not everyone agrees  
"Any large gathering of people carries risks," said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired physician from Somerset, Kentucky, and chairman of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USA. "That risk is lessened outdoors with social distancing and by the wearing masks."
However, Kavanagh said in an email that shouting, which often happens during the Derby, can cause the virus to "aerosolize" and "defeat the safety of a cloth mask" while causing droplets to "travel much further than 6 feet." "In addition, getting into and out of the stands and use of restrooms is problematic," Kavanagh said.   Yetter D.  Courier Jounal.  Aug. 12, 2020. 
14.  As COVID-19 spread, the feds relaxed rules, and hospitals tried to contain the outbreak. Other infections may have risen 
"Patients need to be repositioned every two hours to prevent ulcers on the skin, said physician Kevin Kavanagh, founder of patient advocacy group Health Watch USA. Doing so will show staff when patients have soiled their beds, he said.   Daily bathing is necessary to prevent hospital infections, given "the dangerous pathogens and compromised patients," Kavanagh said, but bathing takes so many workers that short-staffed facilities too often don't do it."    Odonell J.  USA Today. Aug. 5, 2020. 
13.  Once seemingly insulated, Kentucky's Appalachian counties scramble to stop COVID-19 outbreak 
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a retired physician and infectious-control advocate in Somerset who runs a patient-safety group called Health Watch USA, said tracing remains a crucial measure, though it gets less effective as cases grow and lab results in some areas take more than a week.   Courier Journal.  July 31, 2020.  
12. Hospitals must treat infection control as a priority, not a profit center. 
"We have gone far too long with not making the proper investments,” warned Kevin Kavanagh, the physician founder of Health Watch USA, in a recent commentary in Infection Control Today. “I fear that, as a society, we may well have to pay the price for this neglect."  STAT. July 1, 2020.   
11.  26,000 COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes Might Spur Federal-State Blame Game
 “Infection control in nursing homes has been almost non-existent for years along with effective regulations to serve as guidance,” Kavanagh said. “We are also concerned with a reactionary program of inspections based on non-specific regulations.”  Kavanagh would like to see a sustained program of oversight using detailed metrics designed to drive a high-quality outcome.  Infection Control Today.  June 2, 2020.
10.  As obesity's link to COVID-19 grows, one family that lost 24-year-old daughter diets together
"Along with making mechanical ventilation harder, being severely overweight can make it harder to breath, reducing the patient's own ventilation, said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a Kentucky physician and founder of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USA."  USA Today.  May 23, 2020.
9.  Mask or no mask? Why Kentucky's new requirement to battle COVID-19 is causing such a fuss
Getting people to wear them is "absolutely key," in part because modeling suggests that getting most of the public to wear masks is what makes them effective, said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, head of the patient safety group Health Watch USA.   It's also critical to making consumers, especially older Kentuckians, feel safe to return to stores and help revive the economy, he said.  Courier Journal. May 15, 2020.
8.  Rich hospitals, poor safety plans leading up to coronavirus: Should rules change for them now?
"As many hospitals cut staff and more than 9,200 health care workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, founder of the patient safety group Health Watch USA, said the government shouldn't bail them out after they “put us all at risk.” He calls it "a step in the right direction" that rural hospitals and those with the most COVID-19 patients were getting money Friday, but said "non-profit facilities with net assets in the billions should have to first leverage these assets before receiving public funds." "   USA TOday.  May 10, 2020.
7.  Nelson D.  Blood-pressure drugs are in the crosshairs of COVID-19 research. 
Reuters News Service.  April 23, 2020.   
New York Times:
"Dr Kevin Kavanagh, founder of Health Watch USA, a patient advocacy organization, questioned whether scientists who are funded by the drug industry should be advising clinicians, given the high stakes.
"You need to consider stepping back, and let others without a conflict of interest try to make a call," Kavanagh said."  His organization recommends that doctors temporarily avoid putting new patients on the drugs and warn those currently on them to take extreme precautions to avoid virus exposure.
6.  Morgan-Besecker T.  Patient advocate: State needs more aggressive action to confront COVID-19 deaths.  The Citizens' Voice. April 22, 2020.  
"Kevin Kavanagh, director of Health Watch USA, a patient advocacy group, said efforts to halt the virus from entering facilities fell short with catastrophic outcomes.   "You try to wall off the home from the outside. Once COVID-19 gets into the nursing home environment ... it tends to ravage residents and it does not stop," Kavanagh said.  Many homes tried to halt the spread by isolating residents to a specific floor. Kavanagh said the government must consider taking it a step further and designate one facility to house infected patients."
5.  Sullivan T: Louisville area preacher defies ban on mass gatherings, plans to hold Sunday service.  Courier Journal.  April 4, 2020. 
"Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, the Somerset-based founder of Health Watch USA, argues that church services pose specific and inordinate dangers during a pandemic.   "One of the cruelest characteristics of the coronavirus epidemic is that it strikes fear in the hearts and minds of many causing them to ask for comfort and protection from the God they believe in," Kavanagh wrote in an essay published Friday in Infection Control Today.“And at the same time this virus has made a church service one of the most deadliest places to be in. The combination of singing in close quarters and decreased ventilation is nothing short of a petri dish (or cell plate) for viral growth."" 
4. Jacobes A. Fink S.  How Prepared Is the U.S. for a Coronavirus Outbreak? New York Times.  Feb. 29, 2020.    
"Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, who has studied infection control practices in health care settings, said such facilities might eventually have to limit visitors, or even keep residents under quarantine as a preventive measure. "Nursing homes will be extremely vulnerable to this epidemic, and it will be difficult to implement hygiene practices to prevent the spread," he said."
3.  Kenning C. Why the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time for reeling Appalachian Kentucky. Courier Journal. March 21. 2020.  
2. Terrie Morgan-Besecker. NEPA grocery store begins taking customers' temps. The Citizens' Voice. Mar. 24, 2020.  
1.  Healy J, Richtel M, Baker M. Nursing Homes Becoming Islands of Isolation Amid 'Shocking' Mortality Rate. New York Times. March 10, 2020.
"Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, an expert in infection control who has been critical of lax practices at nursing homes, lauded the new guidance that restricts social visits. This extreme level of quarantine is sometimes known as "reverse isolation” and was used to effect during the Spanish Flu epidemic, Dr. Kavanagh said. 'As evidenced by the Life Care Center in Kirkland, once the virus starts to spread in the facility it ravages its residents,” he said. He said that “the importance is in delay.""

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