Originally published October 23 2014
Rwanda to begin screening U.S. air travelers for Ebola - what do they know that the CDC doesn't?
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The government of the African nation of Rwanda, in the eastern part of the continent, is now mandating that all visitors from the United States and Spain self-monitor for signs of Ebola, as well as complete an extensive questionnaire and report their medical condition to authorities for the first 21 days of their visits, because the virus has now appeared in both countries.
Whether or not it is a coincidence, the new screening mandate comes after an "embarrassing uproar in a New Jersey school over the imminent enrollment of two Rwanda children that initially prompted their parents to keep them at home for 21 days," USA Today reported.
The Rwandan government order was posted in recent days on the website of the U.S. Embassy in that country:
On October 19, the Rwandan Ministry of Health introduced new Ebola Virus Disease screening requirements. Visitors who have been in the United States or Spain during the last 22 days are now required to report their medical condition--regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of Ebola--by telephone by dialing 114 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for the duration of their visit to Rwanda (if less than 21 days), or for the first 21 days of their visit to Rwanda. Rwandan authorities continue to deny entry to visitors who traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, or Sierra Leone within the past 22 days.
Rwanda now taking more action to protect its people from Ebola than the U.S.
Since the Ebola virus broke out in West Africa earlier this year, there have been deaths from the disease in both Spain and the U.S. A Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, brought the disease with him to Dallas, and two nurses who treated him at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital there have since tested positive for the virus. In Spain, at least two missionaries have died after contracting the virus while working with Ebola patients in West Africa. In addition, a Spanish nurse has also tested positive for Ebola, USA Today reports.
Rwanda is about 2,600 miles east of Liberia, the nearest of three West African nations that are currently battling the outbreak; Sierra Leone and Guinea are the other two. So far, Rwanda has not been affected by the virus. Officials there also say there have been no cases reported in the country.
"The uproar" at the New Jersey school "started after a school nurse sent a note to staff members saying that the school intended to take the temperature of the two students three times a day for the next 3 weeks, the normal incubation period for Ebola," the paper reported.
The school's superintendent has since apologized for the incident.
Meanwhile, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced October 22 that the United States would begin 21-day monitoring of any persons traveling to the country from Ebola-affected nations.
Dr. Thomas Frieden said the program would begin in six states immediately and gradually be expanded nationwide. The Associated Press (AP) reported that those states were New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia. Airports in those states are major international hubs, officials have said.
"The bottom line is that we have to keep our guard against Ebola," Frieden said while discussing the program with reporters.
Those who don't comply will be 'called in'
The AP added:
Travelers from those countries will be given information cards and a thermometer and be required to make daily check-ins with state or local health officials to report their status. He said the check-ins could be in person, by telephone, Skype or Facetime or through employers - CDC was consulting with the state and local officials to help them work that out.
In addition, travelers will have to report any travel plans to authorities. And anyone who does not cooperate with the monitoring program will be called in, Frieden said.
However, the Obama Administration has still not ordered travel bans from affected nations, like many other countries have done.
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