Dr. Indu Gupta

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It’s time to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of six months get the vaccine by the end of October. Central New York health officials are emphasizing there are no reasons to avoid the shot.

Only about one in three upstate New York adults get their flu shot according to BlueCross BlueShield. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said that is unfortunate.

Onondaga County Health Department

The number of children exposed to lead in the city of Syracuse has dropped significantly in recent years. 

The problem that leads to lead poisoning in cities like Syracuse is the old housing stock. Before 1978, lead paint was often used to paint homes. 90 percent of housing in the city can have lead paint that needs remediating. 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Updated at 8am Saturday, August 11

According to data from the Onondaga County Health Department, no toxins have been detected at the water intake pipes in Skaneateles Lake for the last three days. On August 7, tests showed 0.3 parts per billion of mycrocystins, the lowest possible detection level. Starting August 8, the level of mycrocystins was undetectable. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Another spike of synthetic marijuana overdoses has the law enforcement and health communities looking for answers. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The number of Syracuse University students confirmed to have mumps has increased to 27 with 45 more probable cases. SU, in partnership with the county and state health departments, will offer a booster dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) to students this week.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney rolled up her sleeve this week, not to work, but to show central New Yorkers how easy it is to get a flu shot.

"This took me less than a minute, and if you get the flu, you are down for a couple days and you’re making everybody around you sick,” Mahoney said. “It is a much better use of your time to take one minute and get your flu shot.”

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Eight police departments in Onondaga County will now have needle and drug drop boxes installed at their facilities. They include the Baldwinsville, Camillus, Cicero, DeWitt, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus and Syracuse police departments. It is part of an effort to reduce the number of heroin and opioid addictions in the county.

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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pushing for legislation that would ban 22 chemicals used for making synthetic drugs. The Upstate New York Poison Center reported 500 cases involving synthetic marijuana and similar drugs in 2015. The majority of those cases occurred in Onondaga County which also had six deaths in 2015 linked to synthetic drugs.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said some of the side effects include increased heart rate, respiratory failure, paranoia and bizarre behavior.  

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 52 confirmed cases of Zika virus infections from travelers returning to the United States from infected areas. The concern is that mosquitoes in the U.S. will bite an infected person and spread the disease.

Dr. Indu Gupta, the Onondaga County health commissioner, said there have been three documented cases of Zika in New York State so far but admits there are more.

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Onondaga County held a heroin and opioid forum to provide information on the drug epidemic and how users can get help. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said people who are addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department is starting up a couple of new programs in response to the opioid abuse epidemic in Central New York. 

Addicted inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center will have an option to help start the process of kicking the habit, with a dose of a drug called Vivitrol. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state's acting health commissioner is touring the state this week, advising New Yorkers to get off the couch and get some exercise.

Acting Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says the tour is grounded in these statistics from the New York State Department of Health: Just over a quarter of New Yorkers are obese and another 36 percent are overweight. The numbers aren't much better for children. Thirty-two percent of public school students between the ages of six and 12 across the state are either overweigh or obese.

CDC

Central New York is experiencing a massive increase in the number of cases of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. While the overall number is low, health officials are worried about the trend.

From its near eradication nationwide at the turn of the 21st century, syphilis cases in Onondaga County doubled from 2012 to 2013. And then doubled again last year. They’ve risen 1,800 percent since 2008.

That only amounts to 56 total cases last year, up from three in 2008.