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

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of shooting wife to death

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.


Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.


'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.


Jeep driver dies after hitting two deer, rolling into oncoming vehicle

As the SUV rolled, it struck another vehicle approaching the other direction.

carver county dog

Family's dog 'senselessly' killed with arrow in Carver County

The beloved dog was shot with an arrow on Tuesday.