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Irish man gets 'all clear' after deadly MERS virus fears

Paddy Reilly was tested after travelling on the same plane as an American man who was later diagnosed with the potentially fatal MERs virus.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

AN IRISH MAN who was tested for the MERS virus after travelling on the same plane as an American who contracted the illness has gotten the ‘all clear’.

Where it all began

Paddy Reilly had spoken to TheJournal.ie on 4 May when he revealed he was undergoing tests to see if he had the virus.

He had taken a flight from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to Heathrow on 23 April, and said he was sitting behind an American man on this flight. This man was subsequently diagnosed with MERS.

Reilly then flew from Heathrow to Ireland on 24 April, spending two days here before returning to Saudi.

After his arrival back in the Middle East, he said he was contacted by the HSE over email and phone, advising him to get tested for MERS.

This weekend, Reilly said that he had gotten an additional check up on Thursday, and was given the all clear, although no bloods had been taken.

mers panel 3

What the doctors told him

“But since over the 14 days [I've been] feeling good and [have] no symptoms then they are not concerned,” he said of his medical care.

He said he has received calls from the Irish embassy in Saudi Arabia and the health board in Ireland checking that he is OK.

“I am glad of this, especially being away from home and in [a] remote area,” he said. He also expressed thanks to the TheJournal.ie readers who had sent him messages of support following the previous article.

“Good to know no matter how the country and economy [are in] doom and gloom, that we look after our own, home or abroad,” said Reilly.

Where MERS has been reported

MERS has been reported in: Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen; France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom; Tunisia and Egypt; Malaysia and the Philippines; and the United States.

A passenger who travelled on a Saudi Airlines flight on 1 May also tested positive for MERS, the Mirror reported earlier this week.

A spokesperson from the HSE said: “The Department of Public Health makes contact with any individual who is considered to have been at risk of exposure”.

Read: Three new MERS deaths in Saudi Arabia>

Read: Irishman being tested after travelling on same plane as US man with MERS virus>

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