Ebola probe after man’s body found in Donegal

Letterkenny General Hospital.
Letterkenny General Hospital.
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A man has been found dead in Donegal with suspected Ebola disease.

According to the Irish Republic’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it is currently assessing a suspected case of Ebola.

The public health department was made aware earlier today (Thursday) of the remains of an individual who had recently travelled to Sierra Leone which has been affected by the virus.

The man’s body has been isolated in the morgue of Letterkenny General Hospital.

A HSE statement said: “The appropriate national guidelines, in line with international best practice, are being followed by the public health team dealing with the situation. This means that the body of the deceased has been isolated to minimise the potential spread of any possible virus. Blood samples have been sent for laboratory testing to confirm whether or not this individual had contracted Ebola virus disease.

“Until a diagnosis is confirmed, and as a precautionary measure, the individual’s remains will stay in the mortuary pending the laboratory results which are expected late tomorrow.

“The risk of transmission of any disease is considered to be extremely low. As a precautionary measure, appropriate infection control procedures are being put in place in the community and at the mortuary pending the outcome of laboratory tests,” said the statement.

Dr. Darina O’Flanagan, Head of the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre, said; “In general, the risk of contracting Ebola virus disease is extremely low and would involve very close personal contact with the infected individual or their body fluids for there to be any risk at all.”

“We await the outcome of the laboratory tests before we will know whether or not this individual had contracted Ebola virus disease. The appropriate public health guidelines are being followed at every stage in this process as a precaution.”

Further information on Ebola virus disease can be found on the HPSC’s website at http://www.hpsc.ie/ and http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/ViralHaemorrhagicFever/Ebola/.