UK & World News

  • 22 August 2014, 7:21

Suspected Irish Ebola Case 'From Sierra Leone'

A man in Ireland who medics suspect may have died from ebola is believed to have recently returned from Sierra Leone, according to Sky sources.

The suspected victim was named locally as father-of-one Dessie Quinn, from the Doorin area, outside Mountcharles, Co Donegal.

The 43-year-old was visiting his large family in Co Donegal when he was taken ill, having previously been living in Dublin.

Neighbours said Mr Quinn may have been receiving treatment for malaria when he died.

His body is being kept at Letterkenny Hospital in isolation.

The ebola virus causes symptoms that can be initially similar to those of malaria, including a fever. It is fatal in up to 90% of cases.

It is not known where Mr Quinn had been receiving any treatment as an inpatient at a medical facility.  

One source said he had been working in the West African country for a telecommunications company and had returned within the last couple of weeks.

Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed that the remains of a person who recently returned from an area of Africa hit by the outbreak had been found in Co Donegal on Thursday.

It refused to provide any more details.

A spokesman said laboratory results are expected later.

A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "He was just home and as far as I know he was in Donegal since he came back from Sierra Leone.

"He could have been back two weeks or three weeks, I'm not sure."

"Everyone knew him. He was great company to be along with, he was a very nice fella."

Head of the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre Dr Darina O'Flanagan, said there was little risk to the public.

She said someone would have had to come into contact with a victim's bodily fluids in order to be in danger.

She 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."

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have seen the vast majority of the 1,350 victims who have died in West Africa since March.

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