Suspected Ebola case in Co Donegal

Suspected Ebola case in Co Donegal

A suspected case of Ebola is being assessed in Co Donegal, the Health Service Executive has confirmed - following the discovery of a man's body on Thursday.

The individual at the centre of the case had recently travelled to one of the African areas affected by a major outbreak of the deadly virus.It has been reported that the man may have been getting treatment for suspected malaria after returning from Sierra Leone when he died.Blood samples have been sent for laboratory testing to confirm whether or not the man had contracted Ebola.It is believed the suspected victim was in his 40s and from near Mountcharles.He is thought to have been living with his partner in Dublin, but was visiting family in Co Donegal when he became ill.His body has been transferred to Letterkenny General Hospital.According to the HSE, the man's body will remain in the mortuary in the interim period.The results are expected to be known on Friday.Infection control measures are being put in place in the community, but the risk of transmission is considered to be extremely low.The virus is passed through close personal contact with an infected individual or their bodily fluids.Dr Darina O'Flanagan, Head of the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre, said: "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."Up to 90% of Ebola cases prove fatal. There is no vaccine, effective treatment or cure.Donegal Mayor John Campbell said the county was shocked - but urged people not to panic."It is unconfirmed that it is Ebola at this stage and even if it was confirmed the chances of it being passed on to anyone else are very small so people shouldn't panic," he said."It's a big shock in the area. I know the family well and our thoughts are with them."Donegal TD Thomas Pringle urged people in the county not to worry until health chiefs carry out their tests."This is a sudden tragic death and because this man worked in Africa the HSE have to take precautions," he said."I think we should wait until the cause of death is confirmed."Given the media attention about Ebola over the last while it is important that people do not panic or worry about it until we hear from the HSE."


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