gale burstein

Khalid Terrell/WBFO News

Many smokers are  being put to the test today as the Great American Smokeout is staged throughout the country. The event challenges smokers to take an early step in kicking the habit.

Opioids: Fearing a lost generation

Aug 28, 2017

In Western New York, addiction is everywhere - from cities to suburbs to rural areas. Medical experts say treatment facilities should be where the patients live.


A "boil water" notice continues for communities in the northtowns affected by Wednesday night's water main break, though there was positive news from the Erie County Health Department Friday.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling for a ban on the sale of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes at pharmacies in the county.

WBFO News file photo

Albany has toughened the requirements for vaccinating school students, starting with those attending kindergarten.


The first discovered instance of a mosquito bearing the West Nile virus this year has been reported in Erie County.

Officials report significant spike in drug overdoses

Apr 2, 2015
Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

Local health and law enforcement officials say there has been a noticeable spike in heroin and opioid overdoses in the first quarter of this year.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed legislation banning the use of electronic cigarettes in public places, Friday afternoon.

Eileen Buckley/WBFO News

With an outbreak of measles reported in 14 states, Assemblyman Sean Ryan is proposing legislation that would require a child to be vaccinated before a parent can receive their child dependent tax deduction.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The multi-state measles outbreak tied to Disneyland has local officials urging residents to get vaccinated. 

Erie County infant dies from flu complications

Jan 20, 2015

An infant living in Erie County recently died from complications relating to the flu. Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says it is the first confirmed flu-related death in the county this season. 

erie.gov

Lake Erie water samples tested this week in Albany have come back negative in Erie County for a harmful toxin caused by blue-green algae blooms. 

File photo

Along with dangerously cold temperatures, Erie County is also being hit with influenza.

Even if a woman doesn't have any kind of health insurance, Erie County will help pay for mammography screening for breast cancer and treatment.

West Nile Virus detected in area mosquitoes

Jul 26, 2013

West Nile Virus has been discovered in Erie County for the first time this year.

A six-year-old girl died Monday night at Women & Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein tells WBFO News the child's death is attributed to influenza.

Erie County's parks and beaches are now smoke-free. 

The Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein and other county leaders were joined Monday by members of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition at Como Lake Park in Lancaster  where they unveiled the first batch of "smoke-free" signs.

Burstein says the new smoke-free policy  is now in effect at all county-run parks and beaches.   She says the goal is to clear the air of second-hand smoke