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AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Suffolk...Nassau...Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Wes chester...Rockland. from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website at,, or call the Air Quality Hotline at 800-535-1345.

Cuomo Declares Flu Emergency In NY

Governor Cuomo issues edict allowing pharmacies to administer flu vaccines to children in effort to halt the spread of the virus.

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With flu season in full swing, having spread to around 47states, Governor Cuomo has declared New York to be in a “state of emergency” over dwindling supplies of the flu vaccine. Pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid and others are seeing their stock of the flu vaccine (both the typical, syringe-based and inhalation-based versions) flying off the shelves as the flu virus continues its rampage across the United States. This news comes after a significant rise in hospital admissions over the past week.

A 55 percent increase in hospital admissions of any form of illness is troubling, however; in this case, the flu is to blame. Governor Cuomo cited this flu season as the worst in four years, with 57 counties statewide and all five boroughs of Manhattan attributing to the near-20, 000 cases thus far. An executive order issued by Governor Cuomo allows pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to children from six months old to 18 years of age. Previously, one had to be 18 years or older in order to receive a flu vaccine.

Governor Cuomo stated that it was important to "remove all barriers to ensure that all New Yorkers — children and adults alike — have access to critically needed flu vaccines."

While the flu vaccine isn’t a guarantee against sickness, some cite that around 62 percent of those inoculated will not suffer from the flu this season. While there is no significant difference between the flu shot or the nasal mist delivery systems, individuals are encouraged to seek out flu vaccination immediately in order to prevent the spread of the virus this season.