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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 27 October 2020
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Patient being tested for Ebola in Belfast

The person had recently been in an Ebola-affected country.

Image: Ebola via Shutterstock

A PATIENT AT a Belfast hospital is being tested for Ebola.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency confirmed the development this afternoon.

According to the agency, the person had recently been in an Ebola-affected country, and is now being assessed, in line with policy.

“The PHA is liaising with colleagues and has advised that there is no increased risk to the wider community,” a statement said.

It adds…

It is important to note that the likelihood of contracting EVD is extremely low unless the person had come into contact with blood or body fluids of a symptomatic person. Therefore we would like to stress that the risk to the public is low.

The patient, who is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, tested positive for Malaria, and an Ebola test is being done as a precautionary measure.

A further update will be given by the PHA when results are available.

Preparations

Health authorities in the North carried out a major exercise last month to prepare for a possible case of the disease.

Senior doctors and other medical professionals from the region’s five health trusts took part, along with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Speaking afterwards, the PHA’s Dr Lorraine Doherty said that “robust and practical plans” were in place to deal with Ebola in the event that someone presents with the illness.

Similar exercises took place in the Republic — with the Gardaí, fire service, and the HSE carrying out a simulated admission to the Mater Hospital’s National Isolation Unit. 

Mater

Just under three weeks ago Ebola was ruled out in the case of a woman treated at the northside Dublin hospital, after she was deemed to be displaying symptoms that require further testing.

“The overall risk of a case of Ebola being brought into in Ireland is low,” the HSE said in a statement at the time.

“If a case is confirmed in Ireland, the primary concerns will be treatment of the patient and containing the situation. An important concern is maintaining medical confidentiality, and supporting the patient’s family and identifying any possible contacts.

“Should any case of Ebola Virus be confirmed in Ireland, a statement will issue.

“This statement would be released in the event that a diagnosis is confirmed and necessary controls have been put in place.”

First posted at 4pm.

Read: Ebola tops meeting of EU ministers, with warnings crisis is at ‘tipping point’

Read: Woman tests negative for Ebola at Mater Hospital

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