Rwanda screens US, Spanish visitors for ebola

The East African nation of Rwanda is requiring all visitors from the United States and Spain to self-monitor, fill out an extensive questionnaire and report their medical condition for the first 21 days of their visits because of the Ebola cases that have surfaced in the two Western countries.

Coincidentally or not, the new screening follows 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.

The order by the Rwanda government to visiting Americans and Spaniards was posted Tuesday on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda:

“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.”

The U.S. and Spain have both recorded deaths from Ebola. In Dallas, a Liberian national died of the virus two weeks ago and two nurses who treated him tested positive for the virus. At least two Spanish missionaries died in Spain after contracting the disease in West Africa. One Spanish nurse also tested positive for the virus.

Rwanda is located in East Africa about 2,600 miles east of Liberia, the closest of the three West African countries with the Ebola outbreak. Rwanda has been unaffected by the Ebola outbreak on the other side of the continent and has reported no cases of the virus.

The dust-up in New Jersey involving two Rwanda children took a new turn Monday with an apology by the superintendent of the Maple Shade School District in Burlington County.

The children were supposed to begin classes Monday at Howard Yocum Elementary School in Maple Shade, N.J., but ran into a backlash from other parents, WTXF-TV in Philadelphia.com reports.

The uproar 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.

Source: USA Today