Health & Medical News

Rochester General Hospital officials say they recently treated some patients with necrotizing fasciitis, sometimes referred to as flesh eating bacteria. Due to privacy regulations, the hospital cannot talk about specific patient information, but officials say none of the cases have been contracted within the hospital.

Dr. Ed Walsh, who is Chief of Infectious Disease at the hospital, says that they believe there is minimal risk of anyone at the hospital contracting the disease.

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, a major health insurer in Rochester and other parts of Upstate NY, says it posted net profits of .4 percent or $24 million last year on revenues of $5.9 billion.

The company says stronger than expected investment income produced positive net income despite an operating loss of $55 million.  The local Blues blame most of the losses due to its safety net lines of business such as Medicaid. Last year, Excellus dropped some of its Medicaid business in areas where it said it was losing too much money. 

Michelle Faust

Emily Roth sits in a café after a long weekend shift. The 27-year old obstetrics nurse eats a sandwich and gushes about her 15-month old daughter. Her smile puffs her cheeks up, lifting her brown rectangular-framed glasses away from her face.

Roth has been a nurse for three years and she loves her job, but she hasn’t always felt that way. "I was going home pretty stressed out on a regular basis. I would go home and cry to my husband sometimes," she said.

In what one local expert calls a landmark study, researchers say infants and toddlers who were randomly assigned to consume peanuts in their first years of life were far less likely to develop peanut allergies than children who avoided peanuts altogether.

And the difference between the two groups was not a small one.

The infants who avoided peanuts were seven times more likely to develop allergies than those who ate peanuts.

A specialized type of endoscopy that looks at the gall bladder and pancreas is linked to an infection that killed two patients at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating and has issued a general warning about the specialized scope. 

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is the procedure that exposed at least 179 patients with bacteria known as CRE.

Seven people were exposed to the antibiotic-resistant superbug, 2 of whom died. CRE is rare in New York State.


Four more organizations have joined Bivona Child Advocacy Center and other community partners to educate people about child sex abuse.

In a collaborative effort called Darkness to Light, adults are trained how to talk to children about abuse, recognize potential danger, and address the issue.

Bivona's Outreach Specialist Stefanie Szwejbka says this education effort now involves 15 community partners, all of whom undergo training that teaches them intervention techniques.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Three weeks after ordering four major retailers to pull store-brand herbal supplements off their shelves following DNA tests that found little or none of the listed herbs, New York's attorney general is targeting the manufacturers of the popular products. 

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters Monday to four manufacturers in New York, California and Utah, demanding detailed ingredient and quality control information on every herbal supplement they sell in New York state. 


NEW YORK (AP & WXXI News) — U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the federal government is allocating $32 million to the state of New York to cover all expenses related to ebola readiness and treatment.

Schumer says that money from the federal Department of Health and Human Services will reimburse the state's designated ebola treatment centers. New York City will receive $21.7 million and the rest of the state will receive $7.5 million. Strong Memorial Hospital was one of the state's designated treatment centers.

This is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and local organizers have several events planned.

On Friday, internationally known psychotherapist and author Kathy Kater, LICSW,  is scheduled to talk at the University of Rochester School of Nursing Auditorium from noon to 1:15 p.m. about the need to start thinking about the health of your body as opposed to its size. 

Kater is the author of Healthy Bodies; Teaching Kids What They Need to Know

To hear an excerpt of an interview with Kathy Kater, click the audio link above.

Across the country, nurses are the most likely to be injured doing their jobs. For many nurses, back and joint pain is a fact of life but so is the risk of violence. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, health care workers are at a 5 times greater risk for assault than people in other professions. 

A hospital can be a stressful place and patients can be unpredictable.