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Infection Control Today Articles


8.  Our nation needs to learn how to live safely with the coronavirus
As our society continues to live in a way that defies public health logic, one can only conclude the infectivity and lethality of this virus is being severely underappreciated by our leaders. An underappreciation exemplified by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s recent push for a policy of opening all schools and having only those at risk wear masks.
We need to approach this pandemic not with third-world nation strategies but by expanding rapid testing and case identification, along with transforming our infrastructure and society to allow us to safely live with this virus.   Courier Journal.  Aug. 26, 2020.   References 

7.  On COVID-19, the U.S. is turning into a dangerous cult of bad information
Some of us formed into online cliques and developed a Jonestown cult mentality in our approach to American life. Added to the toxic mix, foreign agitation placed us on the precipice of one of the greatest ordeals which our society may endure – COVID-19. A study from Carnegie Mellon University found almost half the tweets regarding the coronavirus are likely bots with a playbook similar to Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns. Reuters reported similar findings, describing a European Union document which concluded Russia implemented an online misinformation campaign, in multiple languages, which was making the EU’s response to the epidemic difficult.   Lexington Herald Leader.  July 8, 2020.   References   Read more here:  

6.  Opinion: If we don't come together as a nation, the coronavirus will win the battle
Currently, society is struggling on two fronts, both for social justice and at the same time to control a raging epidemic. The epidemic of COVID-19 may be with us for a long time. And those who try to minimize it are doing so by placing front-line workers and economically disadvantaged populations at risk. We are opening our economy, but we need to do so safely, and we need to learn to live with this virus. That means wearing masks in public and in stores, social distancing and protecting, not fighting others. While we fight for social justice, it is imperative that at the same time we need to slow the spread of this virus, so our technology and vaccine development can catch up. Courier Journal.  June 6, 2020.  References  

5.  Healthcare system's basic infrastructure left it unprepared for COVID-19
Hospitals are receiving massive bailouts based upon their Medicare billings. However, this will primarily shunt money to large healthcare systems as opposed to frontline hospitals. Similar, to everyday citizens’ stimulus checks, hospital bailouts should be based upon need. Non-profits with high net assets should not receive as much funds as frontline hospitals with negative assets. If for-profit facilities or private equity firms receive a bailout, it should be paid back with interest or the Government should acquire an equity position in the company. And all of this should be predicated on not furloughing workers."   Lexington Herald Leader.  April 28, 2020.   References  Read more here:  
4.  There's No Excuse for Lean Healthcare Systems — Especially during COVID-19
"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."  Med Page Today (non-redacted version).  April 20, 2020: References

3. The United States has squandered resources it needs to fight coronavirus
"The United States is on the verge of being ravaged by an invader which we have far too little resources to confront. New estimates from the United Kingdom are predicting 2.2 million deaths in the United States from an unmitigated coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. If our healthcare system is overrun, this care will not be available to all. In Italy, there are reports of those over 80 not being placed on ventilators. In addition, critical care survivors, including the young, may well develop pulmonary fibrosis, a disabling chronic lung disease."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Mar. 24, 2020 (Online).  References
2. The Untimely Reporting of Drug-Resistant Outbreaks in the United States.
Over the course of the last few decades, the United States has fallen into the dark abyss of secrecy: if truth is inconvenient, just cover it up and don't disclose it. The United States needs to implement mandatory real-time public reporting of the CDC's dangerous biological threats. The Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. Mar. 3, 2020 (Online).  References
1. Coronavirus is the biggest challenge our healthcare system has faced.
Is Kentucky prepared? In January, I concluded an OpEd with an alarmist statement: "The epidemic of antibiotic resistant organisms may be the final solution to global warming." We are currently on the precipice of a massive pandemic from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Initial data from China has documented massive economic disruption with a 25 percent drop in carbon emissions. A sobering observation, but of even more concern when one considers the United States does not have the authoritarian structure and a culture of population control which exists in the Chinese government. According to the CDC, the unknown is when, not if, the epidemic will hit the United States and "severe disruption" of everyday life may occur. Lexington Herald Leader. Feb. 27, 2020 (Online).  References 
Selected Radio Segments      Jack Pattie    Jeff Santos
COVID-19: Should We Open All Schools And Masks Worn Only By Those At High Risk?
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm responds to the strategy of only giving masks to those at risk for COVID-19 and opening all schools. He stresses that cloth masks do not provide effective protection to the wearer but are intended to protect others and lower the R0 of the virus to slow down and possibly stop the pandemic. It was stressed that the lethality of the pandemic is the infectivity of the virus and that during a raging pandemic children can be very infectious placing those at home at risk for COVID-19. Finally, there are long haulers and lasting disability in many who are stricken by this disease. Heart, lung and cognitive problems are common in those hospitalized, even those who are treated at home can develop disabling conditions. Jack Pattie Show.  Jack Pattie Show WVLK 590 AM. Aug. 14, 2020.  (14:52)
COVID-19: Increasing Rates of Infections & The Importance of Wearing Masks
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm, discusses the implications of the lack of transmission to any of the 140 clients of the COVID-19 virus positive hairdressers; and what that means for the efficacy of the public wearing masks. He also discusses large gatherings, restaurants and funerals; along with the new antibody therapy being developed by Eli Lilly which should be available in September. Jack Pattie Show. WVLK 590 AM. June 12, 2020.  (15:21)  
COVID-19. The Public Needs Testing Availability As The White House & The False Narrative of Herd Immunity.
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, from Health Watch USAsm discusses herd immunity and how the infectivity and immune response to the virus makes this an unrealistic strategy. This is further complicated by the emergence of a new strain 614G on the East Coast. Jack Pattie Show with Scott Johnson. WVLK 590. (14:40) May 8, 2020.
COVID-19: New Strain Faster & Meaner -- What We Need to Do
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the reports of the new strain of the COVID-19 virus. This virus has been found to be more infectious and produces an increased viral load in the cell. The attachment spike has been mutated and this may cause those who were immune to the previous version to be susceptible to this one. Herd immunity does not appear to be an option. In addition, vaccines need to be modified to increase their effectiveness against this strain. WVLK 590 AM with Scott Johnson. May 6, 2020. (5:31)
Open or Not Open Our Economy - Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity a False Narrative ?
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, from Health Watch USAsm, discusses the COVID-19 experience in Sweden vs. Finland and if the United States should open their economy, stressing the importance of worker safety and patrons wearing masks. Problems with herd immunity are also discussed along with the fast tracking of vaccines. Jack Pattie Show. May 1, 2020. (15:31)
False COVID-19 Narratives from Elected Official's?
Kevin Kavanagh, MD from Health Watch USAsm responds to the false narratives of elected officials. Issues of piecemeal opening in states, infection rates and dangers of COVID-19 along with the use of mask by both employees and employers in retail establishments. The importance of officials wearing viral filtering masks in hospitals was also emphasized. Jack Pattie Show.  April 29, 2020.  (9:43)
COVID-19 Governor's Coalition & Universal Healthcare. Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the importance of a national strategy, the regional coalitions formed by our nation's governors; and not running a lean healthcare system with small stockpiles of PPE and lack of redundancy of healthcare workers. In addition, comparisons of the performance of different countries in controlling COVID-19 is discussed in its relationship to universal healthcare. Jeff Santos Show. April 16, 2020. (22:38) 

Video Meetings, Lectures & Interviews

15.  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. 

14.  Infection Preventionists Should Head Back to School
“I think you’ll find that infection preventionists in this type of climate are just not healthcare employed personnel. They need to be everywhere. They need to be in business. They need to be in schools. And, of course, they need to be in our healthcare system. But it is crucial to be in schools…”  "..up to 15% of their college football players who tested positive for COVID-19—and this includes both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients—has a mild carditis. And this may present many years down the line with a cardiomyopathy. Now you’ll hear people say, “Well, we don’t know what that means. They’re asymptomatic, so they probably won’t develop anything.” Well, the problem with that narrative is, is we just don’t know. And dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the most common type, almost 50% of those are idiopathic, or you do not know what caused them. And it’s felt to be caused by an asymptomatic, viral myocarditis. And so, this is cause for concern." Infection Control Today.    Sept. 16, 2020. 
Video Link:  

13.  PACCARB, Sept. 2020 Public Comment: “One Size
Does Not Fit All” is an excuse for inaction, it did not work with MRSA and it led to a disastrous uncoordinated wack-a-mole approach with COVID-19. Of utmost importance is the implementation of a National Reporting System for Dangerous Pathogens.    Download Written Comment
12. 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.

11.  COVID-19: Seasonal Flu and COVID-19 a Dud or Devastation It is Up To You
Kevin T. Kavanagh, MD, MS, Infection Control Today Editorial Board Member discusses the dangers of simultaneous occurrence of COVID-19 and the flu epidemics. The seasonal flu has all but disappeared in much of the Southern Hemisphere underscoring the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene. Although, still very important, the lack of samples may make the flu vaccine more problematic than in previous years. Also, discussed are topics of lasting immunity to COVID-19, the false narrative of Herd Immunity and organized social media misinformation. . Infection Control Today. Aug. 18, 2020.

10.  COVID-19: The Need For A National Tracking System Of Dangerous Pathogens
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the need for a national tracking system for dangerous pathogens and how the recent reassignment of tracking from the CDC to the Department of Health and Human Services is ill timed and it would have been preferable to improve the CDC's NHSN reporting system. Infection Control Today. July 28, 2020.  (15:35) 
9.  COVID-19: Experience in Other Countries.
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the 2019 COVID-19 International Webinar which was organized with the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Most nations underestimated the lethality and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. As more knowledge was gained public health guidance in various countries changed and their public changed their behavior. In the United States the changing narrative created mistrust and the public did not follow guidance. Internationally two main strategies emerged: The first strategy was a hard close down of the economy and when cases bottomed out, aggressive case tracking was started. The second strategy was universal use of masks. Case definitions differ widely between countries and the best comparison can be made using the rate of excess deaths as calculated by comparing historical death rates with the current observed death rates. Preparation was also key to confronting the pandemic. Singapore had a stockpile of three N-95 masks per resident of the country and had an operational cellphone tracking system for case tracking.  (15:25)
8.  Pool Testing Might Be Needed to Slow COVID's Spread
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, the founder of Health Watch USAsm, has been sounding the alarm about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the beginning. He tells Infection Control Today that it might be time for pool or community testing. Infection Control Today.  July 3, 2020.  YouTube Video:
7.  Founder of Health Watch USA: Kentucky should consider shutting bars
“We still have our heads in the sand, thinking ‘It won't happen here in Kentucky, we need to go on just living as we always have,’” said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, the founder and board chairman of Health Watch USAsm, a non-profit patient advocacy and healthcare policy research organization. “And that's anything but the truth.”
Dr. Kavanagh is growing increasingly worried that the pleas for people to wear masks are falling on deaf ears.
“I mean, if they're not wearing masks in the grocery store, they're probably not going to wear them in a bar where they're trying to drink at the same time,” Dr. Kavanagh said.   Citing research that shows daily growth in infections would be significantly reduced if 80% of the population wears masks. Dr. Kavanagh suggested the federal government issue a stronger directive on masks.
“If you have a huge outbreak, you can have governors take the lead in putting out fires,” Dr. Kavanagh said. “But to prevent spread between states, the virus knows no geographic boundaries. You need to have a national coherent policy.”  Lex 18 News.  July 2, 2020.
6. COVID-19: Importance of the Public Wearing Masks
Dr Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the importance of the public wearing masks and how the economy should safely reopen. He stresses the difficulties in opening tattoo parlors, hair salons gyms and indoor dinning. He also discusses the importance of Infection Preventionests and new CMS regulations. Infection Control Today. June 1, 2020.  

5. 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. (14:36) 

4.  Dangers of relaxing social distancing guidelines too quickly.
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses how the economy should be reopened. The virus is very dangerous, more contagious and more lethal than the flu. Deaths are mounting and many patients may have lasting disability. The key to opening our economy is making the workers and consumers safe.  Workers are concerned regarding returing to their jobs, they need safety  equipment, PPE, and all must wear masks. Cutting off all benefits is setting the stage of social unrest. A start would be to enact universal healthcare. Infection Control Today. May 6, 2020. (14:21)  

3.  Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses COVID-19 and how to identify reliable information.
The speed to publish, retrospective studies and industrial biases muddies study results as we need the answers immediately in a dangerous progressing epidemic.  Infection Control Today May 1, 2020. (15:10)   

2.  Protecting Our Protectors:  A conversation with RN Chris Pontus and Dr. Kevin Kavanagh.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:00 PM 8:30 PM 
1.  Importance of Masks for the Public & PPE for Healthcare Workers
   Infection Control Today. Kevin Kavanagh, MD from Health Watch USAsm which discusses with Infection Control Today's Editor Frank Diamond the need and importance of the public having access to masks and the importance of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. Infection Control Today.  March 31, 2020. (16:00) 

Republican Leaders and Governors -- Public Wearing Masks


This webpage is for guidance only, always consult your healthcare provider and the CDC Website for information before making decisions relating to the coronavirus.