Irish man found dead at parents' house may have contracted the Ebola virus
Health officials in Ireland announced Thursday that a deceased man's body will be tested for the Ebola virus.
The man, who has not been identified, was found dead in his parents' home in Donegal on Wednesday night. Laboratory results are expected late Friday.
The Irish Mirror reported that the deceased Irish man returned from Sierra Leone last week, and was being treated for malaria.
The Ebola virus has killed over 1,000 people in the past six months, with the outbreak concentrated in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. There have also been several deaths in Nigeria, and one death in Spain.
The deceased, a 44-year-old man, was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital. His body remains in isolation in the morgue.
Ireland's Health and Safety Executive urged citizens not to panic.
"In general, the risk of contracting Ebola virus disease is extremely low and would involve very close personal contact with the infected individual or their body fluids for there to be any risk at all," spokeswoman Dr Darina O'Flanagan said in a statement.
"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."
The news follows the announcement that humanitarian workers Nancy Writebol and Dr Kent Brantly no longer have traces of the Ebola virus in their blood. The Americans were released from an Atlanta hospital on Thursday.
The deadly and contagious Ebola virus typically causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, joint pain, and other symptoms. The disease is transmitted by coming into contact with the bodily fluid of an infected person, or touching objects such as needles that have come into contact with infected bodily fluid. The CDC recommends proper sterilisation of medical equipment, and wearing protective clothing to decrease the chances of infection.