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Ebola: Tests on man at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital confirmed as negative for virus

The results of an Ebola test for a patient at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital have come back as negative, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed.

It's understood the patient recently returned from west Africa, and has already been diagnosed with malaria.

In a statement, the PHA said:

"The Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed that a person who has recently travelled in an area affected by Ebola has been assessed in accordance with the national risk assessment protocol.

"The patient is currently being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and has tested positive for malaria. The patient has also been tested for Ebola, as a precautionary measure, and this test is negative.

"The patient is being treated for malaria and will continue to be monitored."

He is being kept at the Royal Victoria Hospital until the results of the tests on a blood sample were made known.

Over the past two weeks, staff in hospitals across Northern Ireland have been taking part in mock exercises to prepare for any major outbreak.

It was recently announced that senior doctors across all local health trusts have created contingency plans to deal with an Ebola outbreak.

In October, a woman in Londonderry was assessed at Altnagelvin hospital for Ebola, but tests were negative.

Ebola has killed almost 5,000 people since the current outbreak started in west Africa.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) said the risk to the wider community was low, but the news that someone was being tested in Belfast has caused fear.

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