HSE denies reports of suspected Ebola case in Ireland

The Health Service Executive has denied that there is a suspected case of the Ebola virus in Ireland.

It had been reported this morning that a patient suspected of contracting Ebola was to be transferred to the National Isolation Unit in Dublin’s Mater Hospital.

However, the HSE has since said that “there are no confirmed, or suspected, cases of Ebola in Ireland”.

"The National Isolation Unit in the Mater Hospital is used for patients with a variety of infectious diseases," a HSE statement read.

Officially opened in December 2008, the National Isolation Unit (NIU) for adult patients is a self-contained unit with 12 beds including six lobbied, en-suite single rooms with “negative pressure ventilation”, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website.

Two of the isolation rooms are of high specification and are separate from the rest of the unit, with different air-handling systems.

"EVD is one type of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) and the HPSC has an extensive range of guidance on its website on assessing individuals who are suspected of having a VHF and who present to their doctor or to hospital.

"This guidance provides advice on the isolation, assessment and management of individuals suspected of having Ebola or any other serious viral haemorrhagic fever."

The recent outbreak, which was first identified in March in Guinea and since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, has overwhelmed the already strained health systems in west Africa and raised questions about whether authorities are doing enough to respond.

There is no licensed treatment for Ebola, a virus transmitted by contact with bodily fluids, so doctors have turned to the limited supply of untested drugs to treat some cases.

KEYWORDS: ebola
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