The freelancer, Ashoka Mukpo, 33, was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who is on assignment in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.
Mukpo, an American citizen, will be flown back to the United States for treatment. The rest of the news team is expected to return on a private charter flight Sunday, and will place themselves under precautionary quarantine for 21 days.
Snyderman tweeted that the world should stay focused on Liberia’s struggles.”Temp just now is 97.9. All good. NBC colleague with Ebola resting at MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres). We all head home Sunday,” she wrote.
“The doctors are optimistic about his prognosis,” the cameraman’s father said in a message to family and friends, according to an NBC news report.
Mukpo is the fifth American, and the first journalist, to have contracted Ebola while working in West Africa. As of this writing, the worst Ebola epidemic in history has claimed 3,330 lives in West Africa. The four other Americans treated for Ebola were aid workers who were flown back to the United States to undergo treatment. All survived.
In a separate development, officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was initially allowed to leave the hospital with an antibiotic, claim that a software glitch, not a human error, as previously reported, was to blame for the mistake.
“We have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records (EHR) interacted in this specific case,” the hospital said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Duncan faces prosecution for allegedly lying on an airport health questionnaire before leaving Liberia. He said that he had not had contact with Ebola patients before his departure.
The apartment where Duncan had been staying in North Dallas remains under quarantine. Duncan’s stepdaughter told NBC News that she’s worried that the family’s children are at risk from his interaction with them over the weekend.
According to a Reuters report, U.S. health officials said today that Dallas authorities plan to properly dispose of items in the apartment where Duncan stayed and where four people close to him are quarantined.
“This is something we expect to get resolved today,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Lastly, a Ugandan doctor who was caring for patients in Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola. He arrived at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany today and will be treated at University Hospital. Another Ebola patient, whose name was not disclosed, is being treated in Hamburg, Germany.
The hospital in Frankfurt is “very well equipped” for taking care of the patient, said the minister of health of the state of Hesse, Stefan Grüttner.
Photo courtesy of European Commission/ECHO.