Donegal Ebola tests prove negative

Published Friday, 22 August 2014
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Health officials in Co Donegal have confirmed that tests regarding a suspected case of Ebola have proved negative for the virus.

A man, named locally as 43-year-old Dessie Quinn from outside Mountcharles, was found dead after returning from a recent trip to Africa. He had been exhibiting symptoms which sparked concern.

According to the Health Service Executive, infection control procedures which had been put in place in Letterkenny as a precaution will now be stepped down.

Condolences were also expressed to the man's family and friends.

Earlier, parish priest Adrian Gavigan expressed anger that Mr Quinn's relatives had only found out that his death was being examined as a suspected Ebola case through the press.

Speaking to UTV, he said: "I was angry when I was chatting to immediate family and they were saying they had no idea until they heard from the news. It's bad enough the tragedy itself, but then to have this on the news it added to the grief, the incredible grief."

Dessie was an extremely hard-working and valued member of staff and was very popular with all his colleagues and he will be missed by everybody who worked with him.

KN Network Services

The HSE insisted that it had maintained close contact with the family "from the outset of the tragic situation", details of which first emerged on Thursday.

A spokeswoman added: "The story broke in the media just before 6pm yesterday, at which point the HSE had to make a public statement on the matter, given the urgency and nature of a public health issue such as this."

Mr Quinn is understood to have been treated for malaria after returning from Sierra Leone a fortnight ago, where he had been working for telecommunications company KN Network Services.

He was living in Dublin, but was thought to have been visiting family in Donegal when he took ill - in was found dead in bed in the early hours of Thursday.

His body was kept in isolation in the mortuary at Letterkenny General Hospital until the necessary tests for Ebola were carried out.

A suspected case caused concern, despite the risk of transmission being considered extremely low.

The Ebola virus is passed through very close personal contact with an infected individual or their bodily fluids - there is no vaccine or cure and the disease can be fatal.

© UTV News
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10 Comments
martin h in NI wrote (28 days ago):
Very irresponsible of Irish and British people going to these countries, whether for 'work' or to try and be a hero. Stay at home and stop putting everyone else at risk.
John in Eire wrote (29 days ago):
So every person in the Islands of Great Britain and Ireland should be tested before being allowed to return home from the continent of Africa No but if they come from the main countries that are affected by the outbreak then they should be tested. Other countries are banning flights from the affected countries so why shouldnt Ireland perhaps do so as well?
Derry in Derry wrote (29 days ago):
Some no it all doctors on here If we all so smart we would never die would wee
Robbie in Belfast wrote (29 days ago):
It's only a matter of time. The hospitals need to get themselves ready for this, and they're not even close. I work in a big NI Trust and the managers are running around like headless chickens while the folk on the ground dread Patient Zero walking into their department.
paul in larne wrote (29 days ago):
one guy could have infected many, people should be quarantined coming from those countries, why should healthy people suffer!
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