An American freelancer working for NBC News in Liberia as a cameraman has been diagnosed of the deadly Ebola Virus disease. 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo therefore becomes the fourth US citizen to be diagnosed of the virus.
He has been flown back to the United States for treatment. Ashoka had recently been hired by NBC to join their chief medical editor, Dr Nancy Snyderman in covering the outbreak of the virus in the Western Africa nation.
A statement on the NBC website read:
“The freelancer 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.”
The freelancer who has been working in Liberia for three years now tested positive to the virus 12 hours after he arrived at Medecins Sans Frontieres treatment centre on Thursday. So far, more than 3000 lives have been lost to the virus in West Africa.
Speaking about the unfortunate situation, NBC News President Deborah Turness had this to say:
“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 centre that is equipped to handle Ebola patients. We are also taking all possible measures to protect our employees and the general public.
“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.”
“We want to be respectful to our colleagues and the US public”. “
Because we know this is not a casually transmitted disease and because we don’t have any symptoms, we present zero to minimal risk. Our returning to the US is a very, very minimal chance of getting anyone [else] sick.”