Suspected Ebola case in Co Donegal

Published Thursday, 21 August 2014
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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.

FACTBOX: EBOLA VIRUS
Symptoms
fever, headache, aches, sore throat, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain
Severe symptoms
skin rash, red eyes, internal and external bleeding
Most at risk
health workers, those in direct contact with patients
Prevention
avoid contact with patients/infected animals, practice careful hygiene
Vaccine
none available
Response
no specific treatment beyond controlling bleeding, managing fluids and oxygen, treating pain and secondary infections

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."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
8 Comments
kelly in belfast wrote (94 days ago):
its taking a bit long for results to come back compared to spain last week which were back within hours
Finn Macool in Port Lárige wrote (94 days ago):
Hopefully its just malaria
Carmel Lynch in Donegal wrote (94 days ago):
Rest in Peace Dessie.
Dr Donnelly in BT wrote (94 days ago):
Immune booster
emmet in Down wrote (94 days ago):
More concerned as to the whereabouts of everyone this guy came in to close contact with since arriving back. Put his close family in quarantine.............oh where do i even begin. By the time the authorities even start taking this seriously it will be too late, no doubt many more cases in Ireland + rest of europe going undocumented.
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