Patient Tested For Ebola In Belfast, Northern Ireland

A patient is being tested for the Ebola virus in Belfast, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed.

The patient, who it is understood has recently returned from west Africa, has already tested positive for malaria.

They are being kept in isolation at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A spokesman for the PHA said: "The Public Health Agency has confirmed that a person who has recently travelled in an area affected by Ebola is being assessed in accordance with the agreed risk assessment.

"The PHA is liaising with colleagues and has advised that there is no increased risk to the wider community.

"Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, can be a severe illness in humans. The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is two to 21 days.

"It is important to note that the likelihood of contracting EVD is extremely low unless the person had come into contact with blood or body fluids of a symptomatic person. Therefore we would like to stress that the risk to the public is low.

"There is no change to the current situation in Northern Ireland in that the risk to the public here is very low.

"The patient being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, has tested positive for Malaria, and an Ebola test is being done as a precautionary measure.

"A further update will be given when results are available."