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Infection-control activist calls for timely outbreak notifications, comprehensive tracking, aggressive containment and vaccines

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Infection-control activist calls for timely outbreak notifications, comprehensive tracking, aggressive containment and vaccines Infection-control activist calls for timely outbreak notifications, comprehensive tracking, aggressive containment and vaccines

Infection-control activist calls for timely outbreak notifications, comprehensive tracking, aggressive containment and vaccines






OPINION By Dr. Kevin Kavanagh

I live in Kentucky, a state with the nation?s largest hepatitis A outbreak, an emerging measles outbreak and a governor who said he exposed his children to chickenpox rather than get them vaccinated. In the past year, two heads of infection control in Kentucky?s Department of Health have left the position. The first one was asked to leave after he expressed the need for an urgent increase in infection control funding.

Dr. Kevin KavanaghI am a firm believer that we must learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, the United States and many other nations appear not to have learned this lesson with regard to public health and are heading down a dangerous path.

The recent book The Pandemic Century by Mark Honigsbaum examines a number of major disease outbreaks around the world and draws lessons about how some of them were mismanaged. But one can see many disturbing parallels in the handling of today?s epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria and viruses.

One of the most important is that when infections spiral out of control, governments worry too much about avoiding accountability, often downplaying the severity of an outbreak until it is too late. In the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2002 and 2003, for example, the Chinese government initially withheld information about an outbreak in Guangzhou, which delayed the discovery that the infection was not caused by the flu, but by a more dangerous pathogen.

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Infection-control activist calls for timely outbreak notifications, comprehensive tracking, aggressive containment and vaccines Infection-control activist calls for timely outbreak notifications, comprehensive tracking, aggressive containment and vaccines

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Source of news: Kentucky Health News
Source of publication: 17-05-2019 16:04
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