An American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment according to a news report on the NBC website.
The freelancer, Ashoka Mukpo, 33, was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman who is with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Monrovia, reporting on the Ebola outbreak.
Mukpo came down with symptoms on Wednesday, feeling tired and achy. As part of a routine temperature check, he discovered he was running a slight fever. He immediately quarantined himself and sought medical advice. On Thursday morning, Mukpo went to a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) treatment center to be tested for the virus. The positive result came back just under 12 hours later.
“The good news is this young man, our colleague, was admitted very, very early,” Snydermantold Rachel Maddow Thursday evening. “He’s in good spirits.”
Snyderman added she and the other members of the NBC News team are feeling well and not showing symptoms of the Ebola virus but are going beyond CDC guidelines for their and others’ safety.
Mukpo will be the fifth American infected with Ebola and evacuated from West Africa. He has been working in Liberia on various projects for the past three years.
“The doctors are optimistic about his prognosis,” Mukpo’s father, Mitchell Levy, said in a message to family and friends. Levy said his son, who also is a writer, “has been engaged with human rights work in West Africa for the last several years. When the Ebola outbreak occurred he felt compelled to return to Liberia to help shed light on how the crisis was being handled socially and politically.”
In a note to staff, NBC News President Deborah Turness said: “We are doing everything we can to get him the best care possible. He will be flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients.
“We are also taking all possible measures to protect our employees and the general public,” Turness added in the note. “The rest of the crew, including Dr. Nancy, are being closely monitored and show no symptoms or warning signs. However, in an abundance of caution, we will fly them back on a private charter flight and then they will place themselves under quarantine in the United States for 21 days — which is at the most conservative end of the spectrum of medical guidance.”