Ireland has been put on full Ebola alert as the Irish cabinet was set to hear from the Task Force on Emergency Planning.
Experts warned that while the risk is low the virus could come straight from African countries affected by the disease into Ireland or from Irish missionaries or care workers.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny said “Ireland is preparing well for this in the event that a suspected case might come to our country and that’s being coordinated by Minister (Simon) Coveney, who has responsibility for the Emergency Response Unit.”
The National Isolation Unit in Dublin’s Mater Hospital has been prepared if a case does come to Ireland.
Plan Ireland, a children’s charity, already has teams on the ground in countries affected by Ebola in West Africa.
Aid worker Dualta Rougheen is traveling to Sierra Leone. He told the Irish Mirror, “We’ll be traveling in our own cars, I won’t be taking public transport and I’ll have to be very careful with what I’m eating, eating cooked food and handling.
“It’s going to be if I’m in and out of the office, washing hands and disinfecting shoes. So there’s a lot you have to do and you have to be very aware and very careful about not even biting your fingernails for example.”
Professor Sam McConkey, Head of Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland told the Irish Mirror, “If we can stop it spreading in West Africa then it isn’t going to come to Ireland, but unfortunately all of the screening in the world and all of the protectionist measures on our borders will not stop people coming in if there are millions and millions of cases on another continent. The world is a very connected place; we’re all traveling all the time.”
Right now there’s no Ebola screening at Irish airports.