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ALBANY, N.Y. (WXXI News & AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says more than 2.7 million New Yorkers could lose insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

The Democrat released that figure on Wednesday. His office says counties around the state would lose $600 million in federal funding and the state budget would take a $3.7 billion hit if Republicans in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump dismantle the law.

Cuomo says the cost of repealing the law is "simply too high to justify."

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

In Rochester’s refugee community, the lack of English language skills becomes even more prevalent when it comes to health issues.

Sarah Miner is a community health nurse who has been doing home care for the last six years.

About four years ago, she connected with Refugees Helping Refugees – an all-volunteer group of refugees and Americans working with refugees from many countries.

New contact lens could be a sight for sore eyes

7 hours ago
freeimages.com/Philippe Ramakers

A company that employs over 1,000 Rochester area workers is unveiling a new kind of contact lens designed especially for people who stare at a digital screen for two or more hours a day.

CooperVision is rolling out its Biofinity Energys contact lenses at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

Dr. Gary Orsborn, the company's vice president of global professional and clinical affairs, says the lens uses a special technology to keep the surface of the lens wet, and a design that features multiple aspheric curves across the surface of the lens.

A new set of state laws have taken effect this year, one of them authorizing 16 and 17 year olds to make organ donations upon their death.

Previous law stated that the minimum age to make an anatomical gift was 18. As such, teens who applied through the Department of Motor Vehicles for a learner's permit could not register for the New York State Donate Life Registry.

Allowing young adults to register will subsequently increase donation rates, according to Nancy Ryan, the director of marketing and community relations for the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.

Yes, you can die of a broken heart

Dec 29, 2016
freeimages.com/Benjamin Earwicker

The death this week of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, has some wondering if you can die of a broken heart.

Eugene Storozynsky, M.D., a cardiologist at UR Medicine, says the short answer is "yes."

He says a severely stressful situation can result in a surge of adrenaline that overwhelms the blood vessels and heart muscle, leading to a condition known as "broken heart syndrome," or takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Storozynsky says it's relatively rare and typically not fatal.

www.health.ny.gov

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State health officials have declared the flu to be widespread and prevalent in New York state.

The Department of Health says cases of the flu have been confirmed in 39 counties and in all five boroughs of New York City. Some 658 flu-related hospitalizations have been reported so far this flu season.

An average of 9,800 hospitalizations were reported in the last three flu seasons.

The declaration announced Wednesday means that health care workers who have not been vaccinated against the flu must wear masks when they're around patients.

The Geneseo Central School District is dealing with a case of mumps. A letter sent out by District Supt. Tim Hayes details the symptoms of the illness and what parents should be looking out for.

He says that if a  child’s doctor thinks the child has mumps, he/she should be tested for mumps and stay home from school.

Students attending school, childcare, or college in New York State are required to have mumps vaccine or an exemption to vaccination.

A 67-year old Ontario County man is one of the first local residents to have the world's smallest pacemaker implanted in his heart.

The device, called the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, is about the size of a vitamin capsule - roughly one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

UR Medicine electro-physiologist Dr. David Huang was part of the team that performed the procedure in November. 

Courtesy NY State of Health

New Yorkers now have an extra two days to sign up for health insurance in time for a January 1st start date. In the past three days, more than 55,000 New Yorkers have enrolled or renewed coverage through the exchange.  

This is the busiest enrollment period yet, according the NY State of Health, the state's official health plan marketplace. The deadline – originally Thursday, December 15th but now Saturday, December 17th – is only for a January 1 start date. The general open enrollment period ends January 31st. 

freeimages.com/Sebastian Smit

As of December 10, there have been 1,264 confirmed cases of influenza in New York State.

The New York State Department of Health says 19 of these were reported in Monroe County.

Flu season typically peaks in January and February, but Maryrose Laguio-Vila, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Rochester Regional Health, says it's still not too late to get a flu shot.             

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