Isolation procedures have been put in place and tests are being carried out for the Ebola virus after a man died in Co Donegal.
It is understood the dead man had been working in Sierra Leone and that a number of his collegaues had contracted the virus there. The deceased man was found dead last night and his remains were taken to Letterkenny General Hospital.
Whilst the cause of death remains unknown the HSE is carrying out tests to determine whether or not it was as a result of the deadly virus.
In a statement, the HSE said it was 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,” it said.
“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.”
The statement said blood samples had 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.”
However, the HSE said the risk of transmission of any disease was considered to be “extremely low”.
The World Health Organization said yesterday that 2,473 people have been infected and 1,350 have died since the Ebola outbreak was identified in remote southeastern Guinea in March. Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria are the countries affected by the outbreak.