HSE confirm suspected ebola case in Co Donegal

ebolaTests are being carried out for Ebola on a deceased man in Letterkenny General Hospital.

Isolation procedures have been put in place at the hospital after a death in the southwest of the county.

It is understood the deceased had been working in Sierra Leone and that a number of colleagues had contracted the virus there.

While the cause of death is unknown the HSE is carrying tests to see whether it was due to exposure to Ebola.

In a statement, the HSE said it was currently assessing a suspected case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Donegal.

Statement from the HSE:

Tests being carried out on deceased person recently returned
from Africa.

        The HSE is currently assessing a suspected case of Ebola virus
disease (EVD) in Donegal. The public health department was made aware
earlier today of the remains of an individual, discovered early this
morning, who had recently travelled to the one of the areas in Africa
affected by the current Ebola virus disease outbreak.

        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. 

        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."