Suspected case of Ebola in Louth proves negative but raises anxiety levels

Questions are being asked about HSE protocol after a patient from Louth was tested - and tested negative for the deadly Ebola virus.

Questions are being asked about HSE protocol after a patient from Louth was tested - and tested negative for the deadly Ebola virus.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar confirmed a suspected case in Louth had proved negative for Ebola.

Rumours circulated on Thursday that there were a number of suspected patients on a ward in Our Lady of Lourdes, a rumour that was dismissed by a source within the HSE, who stated that there were no “suspected cases in Our Lady of Lourdes” hospital.

The HSE told the Democrat on Thursday: “There are no cases of Ebola in Ireland. The overall risk of a case of Ebola being imported into Ireland is low.

“ A statement from the Government Information Office would be released once the diagnosis is confirmed and necessary controls have been put in place.

“The HSE has a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of patients and cannot comment on individual cases.”

This week the IMO warned the HSE of its concernsregarding the arrangements being put in place by the HSE to deal with the matter.

Professor Trevor Duffy, IMO President had a number of concerns; “Obviously everyone in this country hopes that the Ebola virus is a problem that we never have to deal with.

“But in the event that there are incidents of the virus that emerge here or scares about potential incidents, it is critical that we have arrangements and structures in place. ”

The HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) produces up to date information on Ebola for the general public and health professionals.

“Ireland has a National Isolation Unit (NIU) located at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin and it is the national referral centre for high risk suspected and confirmed cases of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever, such as Ebola, and other serious infectious diseases,” the HSE have said. “Ireland’s National Virus Laboratory is fully equipped to diagnose Ebola in the unlikely event of a case appearing here.

“Ireland has a range of infectious disease specialists including those who are trained in managing the full range of infectious disease (diseases found in Ireland and diseases that might be imported from tropical areas, such as Ebola).

Inofromation posters have been produced for airports and ports which provide information on Ebola to passengers travelling to or from countries affected by this outbreak.

The WHO is not recommending any other actions in airports or ports in Ireland in relation to Ebola.