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.

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.

A New York state appellate court on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of a planned ban on flavored e-cigarette products.

The percentage of people without health insurance in upstate New York has fallen to its lowest number in years, according to the area’s largest health insurance provider.

The number of new Lyme disease cases in the Finger Lakes has leveled off -- at least for now.

The federal Food and Drug Administration and the New York State Department of Health have warned people not to eat certain basil products. Authorities said some imported basil has likely made people sick.