“Electronic cigarettes are putting an entire generation at risk: they are addictive, and they may lead to more youth trying cigarettes. We are encouraged to see the FDA taking a stronger stance on e-cigarettes. We hope the FDA will take all of the actions in its power to address the alarming rates of use among youth, including a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.”
Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot: “Today the New York City Board of Health and City Council voted to allow New Yorkers to choose a non-binary gender-marker on their birth certificate and self-attest to changing their gender on their birth certificate. This is truly a momentous occasion and testament to the work of Board Members, Council Members, but most of all the members of the transgender community whose dedication, work and perseverance made this possible. The Health Department and the Board of Health will continue to work toward a more equitable city, one that reduces stigma, eliminates barriers, and promotes the health of all transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary New Yorkers.”
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson: "Today is a historic day for New York in its role as a worldwide champion for inclusivity and equality. New Yorkers will no longer need a doctor’s note to change their gender on their birth certificates, and will no longer be treated as if their identify was a medical issue. I'm extremely proud of the work the Council and the Administration has done to make this groundbreaking legislation happen and I especially want to thank the LGBTQ community for their advocacy and work on this issue to keep New York City in its rightful place as a leader in human rights.”
Carrie Davis, Chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Report and Advisory Board on Gender Marker Change Requirements: “Today’s action by the New York City Board of Health and City Council regarding non-binary gender identity and self-affirmation updates New York's birth certificates to meet modern medical and scientific and criteria. The birth certificate is a basic and fundamental foundation document that most day-to-day identification documents develop from. These actions offer direct and tangible support to some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers and are exceptionally critical during this time of danger and uncertainty regarding healthcare and human rights for transgender Americans at the national level.”
Ethan Rice, Vice Chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Report and Advisory Board on Gender Marker Change Requirements: “Transgender and non-binary people are entitled to and must be able to have accurate identification in order to secure employment, housing and health care, among other things, particularly in today’s environment where they often face unrelenting attacks. We thank the New York City Board of Health and City Council for the critical action taken today that will impact the lives of many transgender and non-binary people. It is important to note that this would not have been possible without many years of tireless work by New York City advocates.”
Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett: “This is a great win for New York City children. We are very pleased this unanimous decision has recognized the Board of Health’s mandate to protect the health of young children. Vaccines save lives and are an effective public health tool to prevent the spread of disease. The severity of this past influenza season reminds us of how deadly influenza can be. The influenza vaccine is the best protection against seasonal influenza for everyone. Children who receive the influenza vaccine are less likely to get sick, less likely to need medical attention and less likely to die from influenza. This decision will help us protect more than 150,000 children in City-regulated day cares and preschools across the city.”
Richard Dearing, Chief of the Appeals Division of the NYC Law Department: “We are pleased with this unanimous decision, which recognizes the ‘very direct connection’ between the Board’s flu vaccine rule and ‘the preservation of health and safety,’ and agreed that the rule is ‘squarely within’ with the Board’s delegated powers and consistent with state law."
“Today, all Americans should celebrate that trans fats are banned. New York City was the first municipality in the country to restrict the use of trans fats in restaurants in 2006. We are proud to have been a leader in what is now a nationwide commitment to reducing the public’s exposure to unhealthy fats and decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.”
“I am profoundly disappointed that the FDA has decided to delay the implementation of the Nutrition Facts label update. It is yet another action by the Trump Administration that fails to prioritize Americans’ health. Our country is in the midst of an obesity epidemic and nutrition related diseases are driving poor health outcomes and early death. This delay denies the American people important information to act in the interest of their health and the health of their families. New Yorkers need this information to make informed food choices, particularly around added sugars.”
“The City has reached an agreement that preserves calorie labeling in NYC chain restaurants and secures the public posting of the same calorie information New Yorkers have seen for nearly 10 years. In addition, chain food retailers covered by the expanded NYC rule will work towards compliance, and the City will continue to educate these retailers through next May. Several of these previously unregulated chains have already begun providing this information. Their patrons want it and the businesses have obliged. We hope this trend continues. We are pleased that, after our advocacy, the FDA today released a statement announcing additional actions they will take toward a nationwide compliance date of May 2018. We take the FDA at its word. Should the FDA fail to live up to this commitment, this case remains before the Court. The City is prepared to defend its right, independent of FDA action, to enforce its requirements that give New Yorkers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions.”
“The Health Department once again urges New Yorkers to avoid eating Maradol papayas, as a national Salmonella outbreak associated with eating imported papayas continues. Since we issued our first warning on July 22, there have been 126 additional cases of Salmonella infection nationwide associated with this outbreak, including 26 among New York City residents. We remind the public to avoid eating Maradol papayas from Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico to prevent Salmonella infection. If you don’t know where the papaya you bought or are about to buy is from, ask the seller. If you can’t confirm its origin, throw it out.”
“We are disappointed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed a Statement of Interest opposing the City’s enforcement of its calorie labeling requirements. Though chain restaurants in New York City have been providing this information for nearly 10 years, and federal disclosure requirements have been in effect since 2010, the FDA has taken the position that chains can stop providing customers with critical nutrition information. Poor nutrition is fueling an epidemic of chronic diseases, and this basic information should be accessible and transparent to all. We feel confident that the court will support this common sense policy. New Yorkers shouldn’t have to wait and see if the FDA decides to enforce menu labeling nationally.”
“The City today took a major stride toward improving the health of New Yorkers by passing a comprehensive legislative package to further curtail tobacco use. We thank the City Council for working with the de Blasio administration in the drafting of these bills, which will save lives. We particularly thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the bill sponsors, Council Members Johnson, Cabrera, Landers, Vacca and Torres, for ushering these bills through the legislative process and bringing them to a vote today. With this legislation New York City will be at the vanguard of tobacco control in the nation. These comprehensive bills will make a range of tobacco products less accessible by capping the number of locations at which they can be sold; removing these products from pharmacies; and increasing prices. They also take steps towards reducing secondhand smoke exposure at home. This means that fewer New Yorkers will start smoking and many more will quit. In the end, thousands of New Yorkers will lead longer, healthier lives thanks to the hard work of the City Council, the Mayor’s Office, the Health Department, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Consumer Affairs.”
"Freely expressing one's gender identity and gender expression is central to mental and physical health. The President's decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the armed forces will have a detrimental effect on a community that has been stigmatized for far too long. This decision is not driven by sound data, but by misguided prejudice. Transgender Americans who volunteer to join the armed forces deserve the same care and respect as any other enlisted American. We are hopeful that the federal government will reconsider this unfair decision. The Health Department stands with the transgender community and remains focused on achieving health equity for all New Yorkers."
"Health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the fortunate or wealthy. It is a tragedy for the American people and New Yorkers that the President and Congress have decided to play politics with our lives. Our mayor, Bill de Blasio, has persistently denounced the detrimental effects repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act will have on people who need health care the most. The ACA has helped many New Yorkers access affordable health care. Now is the time to double down on that right, not double back as the Senate is doing."
"The Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration are working together on a multi-state salmonella outbreak associated with yellow Maradol papayas. New Yorkers should not eat yellow Maradol papayas until we learn more about where the contaminated papayas came from."
"Contraception is an essential component of women's healthcare – this is why more than 99 percent of women aged 15-44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method. The President's attempt to roll back the guarantee of contraceptive coverage with no cost is an affront to women's reproductive rights and an injustice that will be most acutely felt by those who are too often economically marginalized – low-income women and women of color. We will not stand by silently while the White House recklessly threatens to harm women and further deepens health inequities that we as a Health Department have committed to reversing."
"Health care is a basic human right. Creating a comprehensive system that includes a health plan available to every New York resident is key to reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes. I thank Speaker Heastie and Assembly Member Gottfried, who has championed this bill, for passing the New York Health Plan, and applaud Senator Rivera for sponsoring the bill in the Senate."
"Today the New York State Appellate Division upheld the sodium warning rule. This means New Yorkers will have continued access to information about menu items at chain restaurants containing more than the recommended daily sodium limit. This rule helps New Yorkers make informed decisions that can contribute to lower sodium intake. High sodium intake can increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke. The Health Department will continue developing polices that uphold our mission of promoting and protecting the health of all New Yorkers.
"Fifteen organizations, including the American Heart Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, and the New York Academy of Medicine submitted an amicus brief today in support of the Health Department's sodium warning rule. These organizations agree that overconsumption of sodium is a threat to public health and a key modifiable risk factor for hypertension. The sodium warning rule is a powerful tool that allows New Yorkers to make smart decisions to lower their sodium intake. These organizations agree wholeheartedly."
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio
"As the mosquito season in New York City winds down, Congress yesterday passed a $1.1B Zika funding package that would give much needed aid to cities and states affected by this virus. Lack of initiative on Congress' part did not stop the de Blasio administration from investing $21M in Zika fighting infrastructure and preparedness. I want to thank the New York Congressional Delegation for its concerted efforts to secure funding. I am thankful that Congress came to its senses and that this global city, and others across the nation, will be able to mount a better defense to this public health crisis."
Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett
"In New York City, there are almost 600 travel-associated cases of Zika and 69 pregnant women who have tested positive for the virus. Thanks to the Mayor's funding, we have been able to test more than 7,000 people, control the mosquito population, and raise awareness about the virus. None of this would have been possible if we waited for Congress. I'm glad our federal lawmakers finally recognized that this is a public health crisis worthy of funding, but I urge them to fully restore the Public Health Emergency Fund. We can't continue to have public health get caught up in partisan politics."
"Unscrupulous people are mailing fraudulent violation notices acting as the Health Department's Division of Pest Control," said Assistant Commissioner for Pest Control Services Mario Merlino. "New Yorkers should know that the Health Department never issues a notice of violation demanding immediate payment. Our notices of violation allow New York City residents to address any violations and they can be contested at an official hearing. We ask New Yorkers to immediately contact 311 or the Health Department if they have received a letter from "Vermin Control of New York;" with their help we can stop these tactics."
In this particular scam, a letter from the "Vermin Control of New York" is sent via U.S. mail to an unsuspecting property owner. The notice is printed on a fake NYC Health Department letterhead and claims to originate from "Rodent Control Program Assessment." The letter requests immediate payment for specified amounts ranging from $120 through $280 to be mailed to "Vermin Control of New York" at 1255 150th Street, Whitestone, NY 11357. The notice also says "This violation cannot be contested or challenged."
A notice of violation cannot result in a fine or penalty without there being an opportunity to contest it in a hearing. Further, the Health Department never requests that it, or its programs, be paid directly for violations it issues. A copy of the fraudulent notice of violation can be found here.
We ask the public to be alert to this scam.
"Federal officials and the Florida Health Department today confirmed local transmission of Zika in an area of Miami Beach. They have extended the current travel advisory to include parts of Miami Beach in addition to Wynwood. Following their recommendation, the Health Department strongly advises women in New York City who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, and their male or female sexual partner, to avoid visiting these two areas of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
We ask any pregnant New Yorker and their partner who have recently traveled to one of these two areas recently to contact their healthcare provider to determine if they should be tested.
The travel warning also remains in effect for almost all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As Zika continues to impact multiple parts of the United States, we also renew our call for Congress to fully fund the emergency preparedness bill that will help states combat the spread of Zika. Our response to this public health emergency will only be successful insofar as other jurisdictions are able to contain the virus and combat potential consequences that the Zika virus can have on developing babies and families."Statement (PDF) Other Languages: [Español]
"Following the confirmation by the Florida Health Department of ten cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in one area of Miami, Florida, New York City's Health Department is updating its current travel warning for Latin America and the Caribbean to include this area of Miami. The fact that Zika is spreading locally in this Miami neighborhood means that pregnant women, women trying to conceive, and their sexual partners put themselves and their unborn child at risk of potential Zika infection when visiting this area. Although the mosquito associated with Zika transmission has not been found in New York City, we continue to encourage all New Yorkers to remove standing outdoor water, utilize repellant when appropriate, and avoid mosquito-dense areas. Zika is a mild and treatable disease for most people; however, it could have devastating consequences for an unborn child."
Leaders of local health departments in New York City, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia applaud the FDA for releasing sodium reduction targets for the food industry. More than 75% of sodium in the American diet comes from packaged and restaurant foods, which means that consumers have limited control in determining how much sodium they consume. High sodium intake, which is the norm for most of the population, increases blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.
There is already broad support for sodium reduction, as demonstrated by the 100 public health partners that have urged companies to reduce sodium in their products as part of the National Salt Reduction Initiative. This initiative was modeled on a similar sodium reduction model in the United Kingdom, run by the national government, where significant reductions in population sodium intake and blood pressure have occurred. We welcome this federal government action, which reinforces a framework for sodium reduction that local and state governments have endorsed through the NSRI.
The FDA's targets are a necessary step to result in meaningful sodium reduction by food companies.
Today's Appellate Division ruling allows New Yorkers to make informed and better decisions about their diets and their health," said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "Restaurant chains throughout the city have already begun posting the warning labels on their menus and helping New Yorkers watch the salt. Diners are now empowered to make informed decisions to lower their sodium intake and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other heart-related ailments. This is a tremendous victory for the health of New Yorkers and a wonderful tribute to National Stroke Awareness Month.
I applaud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for updating the Nutrition Facts label found on most packaged foods sold in the U.S. The updated label will be easier to read, draw attention to serving size information, and make several important changes to the nutrients displayed, helping consumers be better informed and enhancing food industry transparency. I commend the FDA for their leadership in helping Americans eat healthier.
I am excited the FDA has taken this long-awaited step of asserting jurisdiction over cigars, electronic cigarettes, hookah and other tobacco products. We know that youth in New York City have been using these deadly and addictive products at increasing–and alarming–rates. This FDA action will reduce the number of youth who start smoking at an early age. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death, and I look forward to the FDA's next steps in providing even greater protection from deadly and addictive tobacco products.
The City's Health Department is working closely with the CDC to protect New Yorkers from Zika virus, which is transmitted by a type of mosquito common in Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean but has not been found in New York City.
There are no cases of Zika virus in New York City, but travelers returning from affected areas are advised to take precautions against mosquitoes to prevent potential spread of the virus. Most people infected with Zika virus do not get sick. Individuals, who become ill, experience symptoms that include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. Illness is usually mild and lasts no more than a week.
Symptoms can be treated, but no vaccine exists for Zika virus. A possible link between Zika virus and congenital birth defects has been found in some babies born to infected mothers. For this reason, until more is known, the CDC has advised pregnant women to avoid travel to the affected areas.
The City's Health Department has issued an alert to providers to look for symptoms in returning travelers, and will continue to monitor the situation. Pregnant women who have traveled to the affected areas and have symptoms of Zika virus should see their health care providers.
For more information, New Yorkers can visit
http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/zika-virus.page or CDC.gov.
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The explosion, fire and building collapse on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street affected air quality for a period of time, increasing the amount of pollution in the air. The greatest impact occurred close to the buildings, but the plume from the fire affected the neighborhood for several hours. New York State monitors showed a rise in particulates in the East Village that peaked around 4 p.m., but has declined to more typical levels since. Wearing respirators (N-95s) or surgical masks is not necessary.
While the Department advised residents to avoid smoke exposure, short-term exposure to elevated particulates did not pose a significant risk to the public. We continue to encourage people who are sensitive to keep away from the immediate area as the fire smolders, and anyone with asthma or heart conditions that experiences shortness of breath or chest pains should seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, the odor will linger in the area for far longer than the air pollution associated with this fire, and while uncomfortable for some, does not pose a risk to the public.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advises people to avoid smoke exposure from this fire by closing their windows while indoors and reducing outdoor activity where smoke is present. People with heart or breathing conditions such as asthma may be more sensitive to smoke and should seek immediate medical attention if they experience a worsening of their condition, shortness of breath, or chest pains.
An individual who returned to the United States on Sunday from one of the West African nations facing the Ebola epidemic was taken to HHC's Bellevue Hospital Center earlier on Dec. 23. The individual has been blood tested and the results are negative for Ebola. An alternative diagnosis has been confirmed and the individual remains at Bellevue in critical condition.
An individual who returned to the United States on Sunday from one of the West African nations facing the Ebola epidemic was taken to HHC's Bellevue Hospital Center today. The individual did not have contact with Ebola patients while in West Africa. Due to the individual's travel history and symptoms, the patient has been isolated and an Ebola test will be performed. The patient is also being evaluated for other causes of illness. Ebola test results are expected late tonight.
An individual who returned to the United States on Sunday from one of the West African nations facing the Ebola epidemic was taken to HHC's Bellevue Hospital Center. The individual did not have contact with Ebola patients while in West Africa, and was asymptomatic upon return. Due to the individual's travel history and current symptoms, the patient has been isolated. The patient is currently being evaluated by physicians at Bellevue. Further details will be provided if a decision is made to test for Ebola.
We commend the FDA for taking this important step to inform the public about the calorie content of foods and beverages at the point of purchase in food service establishments.
An individual who traveled to the United States from Mali, a country with limited Ebola transmission, was taken to HHC Bellevue Hospital Center and an Ebola test was performed. The test result is negative. Patient will remain in isolation. Because in early Ebola Virus Disease initial tests may be negative, the patient will have further Ebola tests in the coming days to confirm the negative result.
An individual who came to the United States from Mali, a country with limited Ebola transmission, was taken to HHC Bellevue Hospital Center. Due to the individual's travel history and symptoms, the patient has been isolated, and an Ebola test will be performed. Results are expected later today (11/20/14).
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An individual who came to the United States 18 days ago from one of the West African countries with ongoing Ebola transmission died suddenly of an apparent heart attack. Before death, this individual showed no symptoms of Ebola. However due to travel history within the 21 day incubation period and an abundance of caution, an Ebola test was performed on this individual's remains. The test results came back negative.
An individual who came to the United States 18 days ago from one of the West African countries with ongoing Ebola transmission died suddenly of an apparent heart attack. Before death, this individual showed no symptoms of Ebola. However due to travel history within the 21 day incubation period and an abundance of caution, an Ebola test will be performed on this individual's remains. Test results are expected early tomorrow morning.
The City is announcing that, after a careful physician review, the last individual under quarantine because of contact with Dr. Craig Spencer – the patient discharged from Bellevue Hospital Nov. 11, 2014, after being treated for Ebola – will be subject to direct active monitoring. The individual poses no public health threat and is showing no symptoms.
The City announces several updates on the Ebola situation in New York City.
EMS HAZ TAC Units transported a patient to Bellevue Hospital who presented a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. The patient, a minor, developed a fever while under observation at the hospital.
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducted a test for the Ebola virus on a minor patient who had been transferred to HHC Bellevue Hospital Center last night. This patient developed a fever this morning while under observation at the hospital, and had been in one of the three Ebola epidemic countries in West Africa within the past 21 days.
EMS HAZ TAC Units transported a patient to Bellevue Hospital who presented a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. The patient, a minor, developed a fever while under observation at the hospital.
EMS HAZ TAC Units transported a patient to Bellevue Hospital who presented a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. The patient is a health care worker who returned to the U.S. from one of the three countries facing the outbreak of this virus.
The ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes by seeking to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.
The link between sugary drinks and obesity is no longer in question. What we do need to question is the beverage industry's continued promotion of these unhealthy products in communities most burdened by obesity and diabetes.
No new cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City for third straight week - keeping the total number of confirmed cases at 26 since February. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and others.
No new cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City for second straight week - keeping the total number of confirmed cases at 26. While the outbreak appears to be slowing down, it is too son to declare over.
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health and nine other organizations today filed a brief in support of the city's portion cap rule for sugary drinks.
Proposed rule is an important first step towards protecting the next generation from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.
No new cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City. While the outbreak appears to be slowing down, we may continue to see new cases in the coming weeks.
Two new cases of measles have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to 26. The outbreak remains centered in Northern Manhattan, with 12 pediatric and 14 adult cases confirmed to date. One of the new cases is unrelated to the outbreak and was associated with foreign travel. After more than two weeks since the last confirmed case, this is a reminder that we must continue to remain vigilant.
Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett announces that the total number of confirmed cases of measles in New York City has been lowered to 24. The Health Department has confirmed 11 pediatric cases and 13 adult cases since February. If you suspect you have measles, please call your medical provider before seeking medical attention to avoid exposing others to the measles virus.
Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett announced that 25 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City. The Health Department has confirmed 12 pediatric cases and 13 adult cases since February. If you suspect you have measles, please call your medical provider before seeking medical attention to avoid exposing others to the measles virus.