Skip to main content

Minnesotans feel shockwaves of Ebola threat; health officials say not to worry

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Concerns about the Ebola virus led to a drop in business for Mama-Ti's African Kitchen in Brooklyn Park – and the owner tells KSTP she might have to shut the business down.

According to the station, owner Kellita Whisnant says customers are worried they might contract the Ebola virus from eating at the Liberian restaurant. And that's led to fewer customers coming through the doors.

KSTP spoke with a Department of Health official who said there's virtually no chance of picking up Ebola from eating the food there, since many ingredients can't transmit the virus and Whisnant's meat is locally sourced.

This embed is invalid

More state officials echoed that call for calm at a meeting Sunday.

The Star Tribune reports reports Health Department members met with community members in hopes of quelling fears about Ebola spreading in Minnesota, while also addressing the "stigma, the fear and the misinformation" about the disease, as MDH refugee health nurse consultant Ellen Frerich put it.

Late last week, ABC News reported the death toll from Ebola in West Africa reached the 2,400 mark. In all, the virus has infected at least 4,800 people across Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

There are an estimated 30,000 people of Liberian descent living in Minnesota.

At Sunday's meeting at Elim Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale, the Star Tribune says officials reiterated to concerned community members that the virus can not be transmitted through goods, nor can it be transmitted through the air from person to person.

President sending military personnel to West Africa

With the outbreak still devastating the West Africa region, President Barack Obama is expected to send additional manpower to the area, in an effort to combat the virus, Fox News reports.

Fox News says Obama will announce today up to 3,000 military personnel will travel to West Africa. In addition, the U.S. will provide additional facilities and logistical support, including:

  • The training of up to 500 health care workers every week.
  • The construction of at least 17 new health care sites with about 100 beds apiece.
  • The distribution of tens of thousands of home care kits.
  • The creation of a joint command center in Liberia for international coordination efforts.
  • The training of local populations to handle infected Ebola patients.

The New York Times reports Obama will reach out to Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

USA Today says the plan will require an additional $588 million in spending. The administration is asking Congress for $88 million; the Department of Defense has requested the other $500 million. That's on top of the $175 million already put toward battling the virus.

Next Up

Bar beer

Study: Excessive drinking cost Minnesotans almost $8 billion in 2019

The study was published by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


Price of Disney+ is going up, unless you want ads

The ad-free version of Disney+ will increase from $7.99 per month to $10.99 per month, effective Dec. 8.


Mall of America shooting suspects arrested in Chicago

The two suspects were spotted leaving a barber shop.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Walz: Increased state law enforcement presence to stay in Twin Cities

A multi-agency effort to curb crime will go on until further notice.


Bloomington PD to provide update on Mall of America shooting investigation

There's unconfirmed reports the suspected gunman and an accomplice have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 3.14.27 PM

Motorcyclist found dead behind guardrail 6 hours after crash

The crash happened before sunset Wednesday, but no one called 911.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 2.49.44 PM

Strike vote set for 15,000 Minnesota nurses

If the nurses walk off the job, Minnesota would be home to one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history.


Iowa Gov. asks court to lift injunction on 'heartbeat' abortion ban

A court challenge seeks to revive Iowa's abortion ban.

zipper merge, construction

6 transportation projects in Minnesota get $100M federal funding

The projects extend to areas all across the state.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 9

The number of cases in the latest reporting period dropped compared to the previous week's update.