Government shutdown affects cyberworld - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Government shutdown affects cyberworld


The gridlock in Washington, D.C. is affecting the cyber world, too.

Several federal government websites are offline or just not being updated while workers are furloughed. But local agencies say that hasn't been a problem for them.

If you want to track the flu's path across the U.S. this week, you can't do that on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Instead of an updated map, you'll find a message saying, "Due to the lapse in government funding, only web sites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded."

The map posted on the site is from May 2013.

But the government shutdown has not affected tracking the flu locally. The Marathon County Health Department reports every flu related hospitalization to the state.

"It's all electronic, information, we receive it electronically and then we complete our part electronically and then we send it back to the state that way. So as far as I know it has not been impacted," said Carrie Sickler, a public health nurse at Marathon County Health Department.

The health department mostly provides information to the CDC, officials there say, not the other way around.

Other web sites have been affected by the shutdown, too.

The Department of Justice's Amber Alert website went offline. But local law enforcement say that never interrupted the program itself.

"It didn't mean much to us here because it doesn't affect us locally, how we do things, it doesn't affect us how we operate within the state of Wisconsin," said Lt. Dale Wisnewski with the Marathon County Sheriff's Department.

The informational site went live again Monday morning.

Local health officials say the shutdown caused an early scare for them.

"I was concerned about the vaccination shipments, knowing that does go through the CDC, but I was relieved when I placed an order last week and then the order was accepted and then did receive vaccine order," said Sickler.

Now Sickler says unless there is a disease outbreak, she doesn't expect the shutdown to affect local health departments at all.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Department has not received any federal notification that the shutdown will affect local law enforcement in any way.

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