Money shuffle in response to Zika virus will sting MN Health Department


The national response to the Zika virus means the U.S. is sharing less money with state health departments, including Minnesota's.

The Minnesota Department of Health faces a loss of funding for next year that will amount to seven percent of its budget, KSTP reports.

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger tells the station that will amount to $800,000, adding "That's going to have an impact around the state on all of our emergency preparations."

As the Washington Post reported last week, states across the country face similar budget cuts as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rearranges its spending. The Post says Minnesota plans to reduce its stockpiles of medications used to treat first responders during an emergency.

The Obama administration blames the need for state cuts on Congress' refusal to approve a $1.9 billion emergency request to fight the Zika virus, the Post reports.

Zika virus mosquito an occasional visitor to Minnesota

The Zika virus, which is linked to severe birth defects is primarily spread by mosquitoes. The most serious outbreaks have been in Central and South America. One Minnesota traveler was confirmed to have returned with the virus.

The CDC recently discovered that not one, but two types of mosquitoes carry the Zika virus. The revelation that a species called Aedes albopictus – nicknamed the Asian Tiger – also spreads the virus expanded the range of states where Zika might be transmitted as far north as Minnesota, the CDC said.

This week officials with Minnesota's Health Department clarified that while albopictus mosquitoes have been found in the state, they do not breed here because their eggs cannot survive the winters.

Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz told KARE 11: "The species has been found in one or two locations in southern Minnesota in used tires imported from overseas, but we've not had more than a few clusters and they have been quickly eradicated when found."

There's much more information about Zika virus on the CDC website.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 9.54.21 AM

Newly elected representative vows to flout Minnesota COVID-19 rules

He wrote to Gov. Tim Walz, inviting him to a backyard gathering ahead of Thanksgiving.

coronavirus, covid-19

Minnesota Hospital Association: We are out of time to be 'Minnesota Nice'

The group is launching an ad campaign that holds nothing back about the seriousness of the situation in Minnesota hospitals.

MSU-Mankato hockey, Minnesota State, Mavericks

1 game into season and MSU Mankato is halted by COVID-19

The Mavericks played Bemidji State on Sunday.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 8.57.50 AM

Cowboys TD featured horrible non-tackle by Vikings cornerback

Number 26 wanted nothing to do with making that tackle.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 8.35.40 AM

New app will help Minnesotans find out about COVID-19 exposures

Personal information is not obtained by Google, Apple or the State of Minnesota.

Arianna Rooney

Missing: 16-year-old girl from White Bear Township

Anyone who sees her is asked to call 911.

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz will again speak to Minnesotans on Monday

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

Ed Davis

Timberwolves acquire forward Ed Davis from Knicks

The Wolves gave up Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans and a future second-round pick.