WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Brett Dahlberg

Brett is the health reporter and a producer at WXXI News. He has a master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and before landing at WXXI, he was an intern at WNYC and with Ian Urbina of the New York Times. He also produced freelance reporting work focused on health and science in New York City.
 
Brett grew up in Bremerton, Washington, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
 


A pharmaceutical research company based in Rochester has received two grants in the last month to study an experimental treatment to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Vaccinex CEO Maurice Zauderer said current treatments for Alzheimer’s focus on managing symptoms. He said his company’s product, a drug called Pepinemab, aims to stop the disease from developing.

As the number of new HIV cases in New York continues to fall, a report from the pharmaceutical company Merck has found that stigma toward the infection in younger generations is growing. 

More than a quarter of HIV-negative millennials have avoided hugging, talking to, or being friends with someone with HIV. Almost a third said they would prefer not to interact socially with someone with HIV, Merck found in a survey of nearly 1,600 Americans between the ages of 18 and 36.

The annual declaration from health authorities that the flu is prevalent in New York state kicked off a series of rules for hospitals and nursing homes.

People who work in health care and are not vaccinated now need to wear surgical masks around patients.

Also, hospitals and nursing homes need to keep track of the number of workers who are unvaccinated and report that data to state authorities.

“We asked questions that no one else was asking,” Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood said of a report his organization released Monday.

“Folks were honest with us in a way we did not expect,” he said.

The results of the survey provide the strongest evidence yet of a link between poverty and poor health outcomes in the Finger Lakes, Norwood said.

Nancy Gerlach’s kitchen was a flurry of chopping and mixing. Pots steamed on the stove, and bowls and Tupperware filled the counter space in her Finger Lakes home.

“We’re up to our elbows,” she said.

It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Her son Bill and his fiancée were expecting a baby.

And another son, Derek, was dead.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published new guidance Friday for doctors looking to diagnose lung injuries caused by vaping.

The article, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, examined a series of patients who came to URMC with “respiratory failure of unknown origin” and a “history of e-cigarette or vape use.”

They found that x-rays of all the patients’ lungs showed signs of pneumonia and inflammation, but no evidence of infection. Ruling out infection as the cause of the respiratory failure allows doctors to move toward a diagnosis of a vaping injury, the researchers found.

A state appeals court in Seneca County has upheld New York’s elimination of religious exemptions to vaccine requirements.

The ruling from State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle rejected claims that eliminating the exemptions was an unconstitutional infringement on religious rights.

New research has shown signs that a measles infection can produce an “immune amnesia” effect.

Emil Lesho, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at Rochester Regional Health, said the research shows that the harms of a measles infection last well past when the body seems to beat the virus.

New York’s health insurance marketplace opens Friday, allowing people to choose from what the state health department called a “robust” array of plans.

The marketplace is open to people who do not receive insurance through an employer or Medicare.

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