Health & Medical News


The number of flu cases confirmed in Monroe County have risen.

The latest on the weekly figures have been released by the county health department.

The number of deaths in Monroe County so far this season rose by one to 11, in the latest figures which are as of March 16

And the number of laboratory confirmed cases of the flu so far this season  jumped more than 600 from the previous week, to nearly 4,000.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Chad Rank has been taking buprenorphine for years. But he’s still coming to terms with what it means for his recovery from more than a decade of addiction to opioids.

“A few months ago I talked to my doctor, and I was like, ‘Maybe I want to come off of it,’” Rank said. “It’s a real internal struggle: Do I want to keep taking this?”

County Health Rankings


A report on health in New York state counties released this week puts Monroe County close to the middle of the field, but some of its surrounding counties fell much further toward the top or the bottom of the rankings.

Monroe County ranked 23rd out of New York’s 62 counties in terms of years lost from people’s lives because of premature deaths, according to the study from the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Livingston County ranked 12th, and Orleans County ranked 50th.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Although Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently pulled back on state proposals to cut Medicaid, local unions and hospital workers are still fighting for funding.

Leaders of 1199SEIU and University of Rochester Medical Center employees spoke out against the cuts.

They say these cuts would eliminate millions in Medicaid funding that supports Graduate Medical Education at five academic medical centers across the state, including URMC.

New York State Department of Health

New York state has launched a campaign to raise awareness around addiction treatment services available to pregnant women.

The state health department and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services said in a statement Monday that women should know “it is OK to ask for help,” and that their doctors can help treat addiction.

OASAS said it oversees 40 residential addiction treatment programs in New York dedicated specifically to women, including several in western New York and the Finger Lakes.


The number of flu deaths in Monroe County has increased by one in the latest weekly numbers from the county health department.

There were 10 deaths reported for the current flu season as of March 9.  That compares to 13 at this time last year. All of those deaths involved people 50 or older.

In general, this has been a much less severe season than last year, both locally and nationally.

The latest figures for Monroe County show 3,340 laboratory confirmed cases of the flu this season compared to 5,623 cases at this time last year.

Red Cross calls for help to "Sound the Alarm"

Mar 14, 2019

The American Red Cross is launching its 6th annual "Sound the Alarm" campaign by rallying volunteers and partners to install 2,200 smoke alarms in homes in the region, and help families create home fire escape plans.

Regional Communications Officer Jay Bonafede says it's a part of a nationwide effort to install 100,000 smoke alarms.


The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is advising owners, boarders and riders to watch their horses closely for signs of Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1) after several cases of the virus were confirmed in horses boarded in Canton, St. Lawrence County and Geneseo, Livingston County.

The virus is not a threat to humans, but people can also spread the virus from infected horses to other horses.  


A change involving the workforce at Jordan Health Center in Rochester is angering the union representing workers at that facility.

The union representing some of the employees at Jordan Health says that they have been notified the organization will outsource its billing operation and eliminate ten jobs in the process. Local 1199 of the SEIU says that the billing department is the largest department in the union bargaining unit. 

The union is asking for negotiations over that decision and demanded the center stop any further action to eliminate the jobs.

Spring is near, but flu season marches on

Mar 13, 2019

Health officials are reminding people that flu season is far from over.

Dr. Lisa Harris with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in Rochester says people assume the flu is a winter virus, but the flu season can persist all the way until May.

She says flu season typically peaks around February, but people can contract the disease any time of the year.