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50-50 chance of Ebola coming to Ireland, says leading medic

There is a "50-50 chance" of somebody who has contracted the Ebola virus in Africa entering Ireland within the next six months, a leading medic has warned.

Dr John Lambert, head of the National Isolation Unit at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, said the "most likely scenario" was that an Irish healthcare worker would return with the killer virus. Dozens of healthcare workers and soldiers from Northern Ireland have also travelled to west Africa to help combat the spread of Ebola.

Speaking as tests were being carried out on a man in Belfast, Dr Lambert insisted medical protocols and contingency plans were "robust enough" to cope with such a possibility.

The Republic's health service said the overall risk of a case of Ebola being imported into Ireland was low. Plans currently in place will not change now that a patient is being monitored in Northern Ireland, it added.

Belfast Telegraph