Dessie Quinn, 43, returned to Ireland from work in Sierra Leone within the last fortnight.
The father of one had been living in Dublin but was visiting members of his family in Mountcharles.
He took ill shortly before 2.30am and died at his parents’ home.
His body was transferred to Letterkenny General Hospital. Family friends said he was under treatment for malaria in Africa.
One local said Mr Quinn had been at a festival in the town as recently as last weekend and that “he had just seemed like the same old Dessie I always knew — he was not sick-looking”. The local said he understood Mr Quinn had been sent home from Sierra Leone because of the ebola outbreak.
The HSE said it was assessing a suspected ebola case in an individual who had recently travelled to an African area affected by the current outbreak. It said the risk of transmission of any disease “is considered to be extremely low”, adding the remains had been isolated in a mortuary until blood samples were tested.
Donegal mayor John Campbell said people in the local community should not panic and should await the results of the blood tests.