Health news

WBFO News File Photo

All drinking fountains in Lackawanna City Schools have been turned off and sinks have warning signs on them, after elevated levels of lead were found from a variety of sources.

New York State is requiring more health insurers to cover the cost of medications used to help those struggling with opioid addiction.

Buffalo is pushing hard against bad landlords and bad property managers in the fight against lead poisoning, especially lead poisoning in children.


Recovering from an illness can take toughness - ECMC says Jim Kelly toughness. in that spirit, the medical center dedicated its new “Kelly Tough Room” Tuesday.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says state and county measures to address the opioids crisis are "making a positive difference." Speaking with reporters, he said the county expects some 100 fewer deaths from overdoses this year than previously projected.

Google Maps

Lewiston Police say they have identified the cause of seven people falling ill at the town Post Office Wednesday.

Mighty Taco, Inc.

Mighty Taco has issued an update on what is suspected to be a bad batch of refried beans that sickened 140 people between September 30 and October 6.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A not-for-profit health insurance provider that serves low-income people eligible for government assistance has opened an office on Main Street, and has ambitious plans to sign up new members over the next year.

Mighty Taco

More than 140 people have been identified as reporting nausea and vomiting after eating at an Erie County Mighty Taco, according to the Erie County Health Department.

Google Maps

The Lewiston Post Office was evacuated for an early morning emergency Wednesday.

More than 100 people have reported becoming ill in recent days after eating at Mighty Taco locations. The Erie County Health Department offered an update Friday on the series of illnesses linked to the popular fast food chain.

NYS second last in organ donor registrations

Oct 7, 2016

New York continues to trail the nation when it comes to organ donation.

Mighty Taco, Inc.

A possible foodborne illness is under investigation at Mighty Taco fast food restaurant locations in Western New York.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

State lawmakers say the legislation passed and signed earlier this year to battle opioid addiction is a good start but there is more that needs to be done. Monday morning in Buffalo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul led a roundtable discussion, during which many people who work on the front lines of the addiction crisis provided feedback.

WBFO file photo

Residents of the Town of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda and Grand Island will soon be sought to participate in a multi-year study of emissions from a local plant, and how those emissions may have affected the health of the nearby community.

WBFO News file photo

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is out with the results of its second air quality study for the West Side Buffalo neighborhoods around the Peace Bridge. It says the air quality is consistent with similarly sized metro areas with high traffic. However, the DEC is calling for improved emission standards to protect public health and the environment.

New York ranked fourth among states whose lawmakers drew the most contributions from the opioid industry, but was near the bottom in prescriptions per capita, according to data compiled by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity.

Young people in Cattaraugus County are going to have to wait a few more years before they can light up. The Southern Tier county has become one of a growing number in New York State to increase the legal purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The ribbon was cut Wednesday on a new 25-bed drug addiction recovery and treatment center in Niagara County that will serve not only to help patients beat drug addiction but also provide education and other programs to help those people return to the public as productive individuals.

National Cancer Institute / Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Doctors are working with a potentially significant new treatment for pancreatic cancer, by pumping up the body's immune system.

Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI

You would think that when parents are told of a vaccine that could prevent future cancers in their children, they would leap at the chance to protect them. Statistics show that isn’t always the case for the shot that prevents human papilloma virus, or HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection.

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Erie County mental health officials say suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults and 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14 years. As uncomfortable the topic may make some people, they said talking about the issue is the first step necessary to prevent more lives lost. 

Nursing home death raises questions, concerns

Sep 1, 2016

A nightmare scenario for those with loved ones in nursing homes recently occurred at the Emerald South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Buffalo. Following the death of a patient, a local organization is giving out tips to people who may be in the process of selecting a nursing home for their loved ones.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

New York State is expanding its medical marijuana program.


September marks National Recovery Month, a recognition of those who have successfully overcome their addictions. One local program who works with addicts is hosting its own Recovery Day Friday in Williamsville.

The New York Attorney General and HealthNow New York have come to a settlement after an investigation uncovered the wrongful denial of thousands of claims for outpatient psychotherapy and and nutritional counseling for eating disorders. AG Eric Schneiderman said the wrongful denials totaled more than $1.6 million in patient claims.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Erie County Department of Mental Health is hosting an all-day training program that will help many working within the justice system to better recognize the presence of  mental illness in many who pass through.

Organ donation age lowered in NYS

Aug 19, 2016

New York is lowering the age at which drivers can register to become organ donors from 18 down to 16.

File photo

Smokers who switch from traditional tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes may ingest the same level of nicotine, but their exposure to harmful chemicals is significantly reduced - so much so that it is like the person quit smoking. Those are the results of new research from Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Rabies vaccine bait drops begin this week

Aug 15, 2016
Niagara County Health Department

New Yorkers may see planes and helicopters overhead this week, dropping thousands of pellets across city and rural areas. It is the annual rabies vaccine air drop and there are some things to remember when you see the waxy green, vanilla-scented packets.