A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: Mitch McConnell should get Trump to stop contradicting science — that’s bad for public health

When I was a child growing up in one of the poorest counties in the nation, with one of the smallest percentages of college graduates of any county, I was lucky. I had parents who had been to college and knew something about public health and had even worked in it. Even the less fortunate folks in our community had respect for the local health department. We all knew that it was a trusted place with...

COVID Update: Gov. Beshear reports 638 cases, 6 deaths; children hard hit; citations readied and more

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 638 new COVID cases and six deaths as of Saturday afternoon, bringing the state’s totals to 38,930 cases and 810 deaths. Seventeen of the new cases were children age 5 and under. There were 17 cases in Kenton County, 7 in Boone County and 7 in Campbell County. “Saturday’s COVID report unfortunately suggests this is going to be the highest week of total cases that...

Pandemic depressing vaccination rates, but it’s safe to take our kids to health-care providers

By Lisa Gillespie Kentucky Health News Not as many Kentucky children are getting critical vaccinations as they did previous years, tracking a nationwide trend of parents staying away from health-care centers to avoid the coronavirus. Last April, 27,906 Kentucky 1-year-olds were vaccinated for diseases such as Hepatitis B, influenza, polio and measles/mumps/rubella. But only 17,463 1-year-olds were...

Kentucky Health News: A round-up of COVID-19 news — cases, trends, the surge, masks, stimulus bill and more

From Kentucky Health News, a round-up of COVID-19 news: • Counties with more than five new cases on Friday were Jefferson, 206; Fayette, 76; Warren, 41; Kenton, 27; Boone, 26; Bell, 23; Harlan, 17; Bullitt, 16; Barren, Hardin McCracken and Scott, 15 each; Laurel, 14;  Campbell, Henderson and Shelby, 12 each; Jessamine, 11; Knox, 10 1.25 Pike, 9; Ohio and Oldham, 8; Perry Pulaski and Whitley, 7...

Belle of Louisville to host ‘down on the dock’ family-friendly museum event beginning June 17

Belle of Louisville Riverboats is leaving quarantine with a whole new look. The Belle of Louisville and Mary M. Miller will officially reopen June 17 and begin cruising again on June 20. The boats will reopen after completing their annual United States Coast Guard Inspections on June 11 and 12. Upon reopening, the boats will operate with limited capacity and other new protocols in place to comply with...

Gov. Beshear announces more actions aimed at protecting Kentucky families in COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Andy Beshear Wednesday announced more actions he is taking to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect Kentuckians. “This is our duty. This is the challenge that we face in our lifetimes,” Gov. Beshear said of people doing their part to stop the coronavirus. “None of us have seen anything like this before, but I believe we are up to it. I believe we can do this,...

Gov. Beshear acts to limit spread of COVID-19; includes guidance for closure of government offices

Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced additional steps to contain and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). “It’s my job to protect my family and friends, but I believe it’s all of our civic duty to protect our communities,” Beshear said. “I will use every resource in this state, every dollar at my disposal, every personnel that we have, to do everything we can to protect everyone’s...

NKU alerts campus to incidence of possible Coronavirus exposure at weekend camp

Staff report Northern Kentucky University has alerted the community to a possible incidence of Coronavirus exposure and its potential impact on the campus. “On Sunday, we were informed that two school-aged students, who were attending a weekend camp at NKU, learned a relative was being tested out-of-state for “likely” Coronavirus,” the statement said. “Because the relative had...

First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Kentucky reported, Gov. Beshear declares state of emergency

KyForward staff The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is reporting Kentucky’s first case of COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus). While the risk to the general public is low, health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the person. Gov....

Cases of flu keep accelerating in Kentucky; there’s still time to get a flu shot

Kentucky Health News Influenza kept spreading faster in Kentucky in the week ended Dec. 21, the last week for which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department for Public Health have issued a weekly flu report. The report said 1,339 new cases of flu were reported that week, another big jump from the 814 new cases reported the week before. During this flu season,...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recap of 2019 health threats and responses (Part 2)

From an outbreak of mysterious lung-injury deaths to America’s near loss of measles elimination status, the beginning of the end of the U.S. HIV epidemic to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), CDC worked around the clock – and around the globe – to protect Americans from domestic and global health threats in 2019. Here’s a closer look at some of the biggest health...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recap of 2019 health threats and responses

From an outbreak of mysterious lung-injury deaths to America’s near loss of measles elimination status, the beginning of the end of the U.S. HIV epidemic to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), CDC worked around the clock – and around the globe – to protect Americans from domestic and global health threats in 2019. Here’s a closer look at some of the biggest health...

Kentucky Teacher: Taking on electronic cigarettes, students join forces to stop the epidemic

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky teacher E-cigs. E-vape. E-hookah. Electronic cigarettes may have many aliases, but it can’t hide from the alarming statistics. According to the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention 2018 statewide trends report, electronic cigarette use doubled or nearly doubled in 6th-, 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade students, the only grades that were included in the survey, from 2016 to...

Keven Moore: A pressure washer can be a useful tool, but users should be aware of its hazards

A pressure washer is a power tool that sprays water at high pressures to remove loose paint, mold, algae, grime, dust, mud, chewing gum and dirt from surfaces and objects like buildings, fences, masonry, vehicles, concrete or asphalt surfaces such as driveways or patios. Courtesy of the Home Depot website The pressure washer was invented back in the late 1920s, and its use was slow to grow, but today...

KY residents affected by national Salmonella outbreak, public advised to discard pre-cut melons

The Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that 16 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of Salmonella Carrau that has been linked by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pre-cut melon including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. DPH is advising that the public should discard any pre-cut melon or fruit salads that contain pre-cut melon. Caito Foods from Indianapolis,...

DPH continues to promote Hepatitis A vaccination; statewide outbreak continues, more deaths reported

People who are considered high risk for exposure to the Hepatitis A virus should get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus and lessen the spread of the disease. High risk groups include individuals who use illicit drugs, close contacts of illicit drug users, and homeless people. The Department for Public Health (DPH) is making this recommendation as part of its efforts to respond...

CDC: Follow these four simple steps to food safety to be sure you and your family are safe, protected

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Following four simple steps at home — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill — can help protect you and your loved ones from food poisoning. Clean: Wash your hands and surfaces often. • Germs that cause food poisoning can survive in many places and spread around your kitchen. • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after...

Almost half of Kentuckians 30 and older have advanced gum disease that can cause tooth loss

Kentucky Health News Half of Americans aged 30 and older have a disease of the gums called periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If left untreated, gum disease can not only lead to tooth loss, but can also lead to other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. The CDC data found that 45 percent of Kentuckians aged 30 and older had periodontitis, with...

Centers for Disease Control study ranks Ky. at or near top in several measures of binge drinking

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Binge drinking in Kentucky, which has been rising in recent years, is now among the heaviest in the nation, and tops in one measure. That’s according to the latest study of the topic, by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC defines binge drinking by consumption of alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period: five or more for men, and four...

Keven Moore: Flu season is here, widespread across nation, and its impact is dramatic and can be deadly

A new influenza (flu) season is upon us and it is widespread nationwide. Thirty-two states have experienced high flu patient traffic, making this year’s flu season the most hectic for hospitals since at least 2009. While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in 9.2 million-35.6 million...