Ebola update: NBC cameraman tests positive for disease

The patient is "in good spirits" and being flown back to the U.S. for treatment

Published October 3, 2014 1:43PM (EDT)

Scanning electron microscopic image of Ebola virions                                                         (Public Library of Science)
Scanning electron microscopic image of Ebola virions (Public Library of Science)

An American cameraman working with NBC News in Liberia tested positive for Ebola after experiencing early symptoms of the disease wednesday night. The patient, who NBC identified as 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo, will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. "The rest of the crew, including Dr. Nancy [Snyderman, the network's chief medical correspondent], are being closely monitored and show no symptoms or warning signs," NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a memo to staff. "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." Mukpo's parents told reporters that despite the diagnosis, he's in good spirits.

The four family members of the U.S. Ebola patient have been confined to their home under armed guard after they failed to comply with a request to remain in their apartment, the Associated Press reports. Officials in Liberia and the U.S. both say the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, lied about not having had contact with anyone with the disease; Liberian officials said they will prosecute him. United Airlines is contacting passengers who were on Duncan's flight and providing them with information for contacting federal health officials. But because he was not yet showing symptoms while traveling, the CDC does not believe any of the passengers could have become infected.

The Dallas County Health and Human Services director said Friday that the situation is "under control."

More Ebola reading:

Science magazine examines the hard data on how Ebola spreads. A big thing to note: "Infection is unlikely to come from a fateful encounter with a doorknob, or even from a handshake."

A collection of research papers and articles from the journals Science and Science Translational Medicine have been made freely available to the public.

NPR weighs the pros and cons of three methods used to conduct airport exit screenings.

Experts tell NBC News that people who contract Ebola can pass through screenings undetected "with a lie and a lot of ibuprofen."

"I'm not going to promise that we can stop this at just one case," writes CDC director Thomas Friedan in an op-ed for CNN of the patient diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, "but I can tell you we have the advantage because the right steps are being taken, and I am therefore confident we will stop Ebola in its tracks here in the United States."

By Lindsay Abrams

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Ebola Ebola Outbreak Texas West Africa