Update as of 8:01 a.m. EDT: Dessie Quinn, an Irish national who died Thursday weeks after returning from Sierra Leone, did not die from the Ebola virus, the Irish Mirror reported, citing the Health Service Executive, or HSE.
"The HSE has confirmed that laboratory test samples for an individual, who had recently returned from Africa, has proved negative for Ebola Virus," the report said, citing a HSE statement, which added: "Infection control procedures, which had been put in place as a precautionary measure, will now be stepped down."
A seven-member delegation of experts from the World Health Organization, or WHO, has reached Liberia to help the region fight the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Meanwhile, thousands of miles to the north, officials in Ireland are awaiting confirmation if the deadly virus may have reached its shores.
The WHO delegation landed in Monrovia Wednesday and is set to meet Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other health ministry officials to discuss ways to curb the outbreak, the New Dawn Liberia, a local newspaper, reported Friday. WHO's Assistant Director General for Health Keiji Fukuda, who has promised to improve the organization's approach to tackle Ebola's spread, is also expected to travel to Sierra Leone this weekend.
Meanwhile, Irish health officials are conducting tests on a man who died in his home Thursday complaining of symptoms similar to Ebola's. Dessie Quinn, 43, a resident of Donegal, in northwestern Ireland, had returned from Sierra Leone some weeks back and was being treated for malaria. He reportedly died after complaining of fever and authorities are expected to receive the results of his tests Friday.
"Until a diagnosis is confirmed, and as a precautionary measure, the individual's remains will stay in the mortuary pending the laboratory results which are expected late tomorrow," an official from the Health Service Executive said Thursday, according to the Telegraph.
If it's confirmed that Quinn died from being infected by the Ebola virus, Ireland faces the prospect of dealing with an outbreak of the extremely contagious disease, which has already killed more than 1,300 people and has infected more than 2,000, mostly in West Africa.