An American cameraman has ebola after working for NBC News in Liberia where the virus has also infected three other network employees.
The American cameraman has been identified as Ashoka Mukpo, who has been tested positive for ebola, and is being flown back from West Africa to the United States for treatment.
Mukpo is scheduled to arrive Monday morning at the Nebraska Medical Center’s bio-containment unit in Omaha. The American cameraman who has ebola is now the fourth U.S. citizen to have contracted the virus in Liberia. Dr. Richard Sacra was transported to the Omaha facility and received treatment there for three weeks before being discharged Sept. 25.
The video journalist, 33, reported symptoms on Wednesday and was running a slight fever. On Thursday he was tested for the virus at a treatment center, with the result coming back positive, NBC News said in a story posted on its website.
He had been hired Tuesday as a second cameraman for NBC’s medical correspondent, Nancy Snyderman, who is in Liberia reporting on the Ebola epidemic with three other NBC News employees.
In an interview on Today, Snyderman said Mukpo had joined her 72 hours prior to realizing he felt ill.
“We shared a work space. We shared vehicles. We shared equipment … But everyone here is hyper-alert. We have not been in close proximity. No one shakes hands. There’s no hugging”
NBC News President Deborah Turness sent a note to staff:
“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.”
Turness said Snyderman and others in her crew will be flown back to the United States on a private charter flight and will be quarantined in the United States for 21 days “in an abundance of caution.”
She said none of the NBC employees have shown symptoms but are being closely monitored.
The American Cameraman who has ebola is also a writer and has been working in Liberia on various projects for the past three years. Turness said the rest of the NBC News crew, including Snyderman, have no ebola symptoms but are being monitored.