Kentucky’s Department of Public Health wants to upgrade its regulations that monitor healthcare-associated infections, or "HAIs".
Those are infections people get from a healthcare facility while they are receiving treatment for another condition. Last year, there were more than 9,500 investigations of these infections in Kentucky.
Dr. Kraig Humbaugh is the senior deputy commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. He says the department’s proposal would update HAI definitions, improve reporting methods and make the process more consistent with what’s happening nationally.
“We're one of the minority of states that currently don't have any mandated reporting of specific healthcare associated infections. This regulation will change that,” said Humbaugh.
Humbaugh says the new regulations would also help provide better data on infections.
The proposal is open for public comment until December 1.
Kentucky health officials are reminding residents not to consume unpasteurized milk or other products that could lead to E. coli infection.
The warning follows recent cases of the infection in north-central Kentucky and hospitalization of four children. Four of the five children associated with the cluster developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure.
Public Health Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield says all of the children consumed unpasteurized milk, which is not like milk and dairy products available at grocery stores. She says anyone who drinks unpasteurized milk can be susceptible but especially children.
The Public Health Department says lab testing hasn't positively identified the source of the recent illnesses. But the agency issued a warning about unpasteurized milk after finding out the affected children had consumed it.
State health officials have confirmed Kentucky's first case of a nonfatal mosquito-borne virus prevalent in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health says it has confirmed the chikungunya virus, or CHIKV, in an Anderson County man who recently traveled to Haiti. Officials expect at least nine other Kentuckians who recently traveled in the same region may also have the virus.
The virus can only spread to humans if an infected mosquito bites someone. It cannot spread human to human. Symptoms include high fever, chills, joint pain and a rash that can last up four days.
State health officials say the virus could become more prevalent in Kentucky because the state is home to both species of mosquitoes that can carry the virus.