Tests for Ebola on Donegal man are negative

RTE news reports that laboratory tests on a man found dead in Donegal have proven negative for the Ebola virus.

The body of Dessie Quinn, who was in his mid-40s, was found in a house yesterday morning.

He was originally from the Mountcharles area, outside of Donegal town and had returned to Ireland in recent weeks after working in Sierra Leone, where there is an Ebola virus outbreak.

It is understood Mr Quinn had been getting treatment for suspected malaria.

His body was removed to Letterkenny General Hospital for tests.

The Health Service Executive said infection procedures, which had been put in place at the hospital as a precautionary measure, will now be stepped down.

The company Mr Quinn worked for issued a statement this morning expressing its sympathies to his family.

KN Network Services said he was an extremely hard working and valued member of staff and will be missed by everyone who worked with him.

The company said it was liaising with his work colleagues from Sierra Leone as it awaits the outcome of the medical tests.

It said it has had ongoing contact with the HSE and all its remaining staff in Sierra Leone were removed from the country last Saturday and were screened for Ebola on their departure.

There were no positive tests or signs of symptoms for the disease, a company spokesman said.

The priest who gave the last rites said his family did not know he was at the centre of an investigation into a suspected Ebola case.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Fr Adrian Gavigan said the first time the family became aware of the investigation was by learning of it via the media.

“When I heard that, the devastation of that news, I went down to the family to see how they were getting on, how they were coping with that, never mind the devastation of losing their son and brother. This was just another dimension.

“And that was the first that they knew, basically the nation knew before the family knew that this was going to be investigated.”

In a statement, the HSE insisted it maintained close contact with the Quinn family following Mr Quinn’s death and only issued their statement yesterday on the back of media reports.

“The HSE was in contact with some family members from the outset of the tragic situation yesterday,” a spokeswoman said.

“The story broke in the media just before 6pm yesterday at which point the HSE had to make a public statement on the matter, given the urgency and nature of a public health issue such as this.

“The HSE has expressed its sincere condolences to the family for their loss.”

The executive also said it was important to note that it had at no point identified or named any individual and that this was done by media late last night.

Any comment made by the HSE sought to protect the confidentiality of the individual and their family.

The HSE statement did not say whether the deceased individual was male or female, or what part of Africa they had returned from.

Please contact us for use of this image