NBC Freelancer With Ebola: 5 Facts You Need to Know

ebola pictures, ebola victim pictures, ebola virus photos

(Photo by Center for Disease Control (CDC) via Getty Images)

A freelance cameraman working with an NBC News crew has tested positive for Ebola, the network said Thursday night. The man’s family identified him as 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo.

Mukpo was working with the crew of NBC chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Libera. The news came out in a memo sent to NBC staffers by NBC News President Deborah Turness.

The diagnosis comes as officials in Dallas are scrambling to ensure the safety of people who may have come into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, an ebola patient who recently arrived in the United States from Liberia.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. NBC Initially Declined to Identify Mukpo

NBC initially said it was withholding the Mukpo’s name at the request of his family, but reported his name later Thursday night. The network reported that the Mukpo is also a writer, and Turness said in her memo that he had been freelancing for several media outlets over the past three years.

He had just begun working with the NBC crew Tuesday, Turness said in her memo to the staff.

From NBC’s report on the diagnosis:

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. On Thursday morning, the 33 year-old American went to a Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) treatment center to be tested for the virus. The positive result came back just under 12 hours later.


2. The Crew Was Stationed in the Same City Where Thomas Eric Duncan Came Down With Ebola

Eric Duncan house in Liberia, Ebola

Tenants sit outside the home in Monrovia, Liberia where Eric Duncan had stayed before being diagnosed with Ebola.

The crew was stationed in the Liberian capital of Monrovia — the same city where Duncan had been staying when he came down with the virus.

The city is on the Atlantic Coast and is by far the biggest in the West African nation. It’s also home to most of the country’s treatment centers and has been at the center of the nation’s efforts to contain the outbreak and care for patients.


3. Snyderman Was Working in Liberia With 3 Other NBC Employees

Snyderman, the network’s chief medical correspondent since 2006, was in Liberia reporting on the ebola outbreak with three other NBC employees, the network said. The networked aired an interview Synderman conducted with a leading Ebola doctor on Tuesday. Watch the interview in the video above.


4. Mukpo Will Be Flown Back to the U.S. for Treatment

From Turness’ memo to the NBC staff, as reported by NBC:

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 consulting with the CDC, Medicins Sans Frontieres and others. And we are working with Dr. Nancy on the ground in Liberia.


5. Snyderman & the Other NBC Employees Will be Flown Back to the U.S. & Quarantined

Nancy Snyderman

Nancy Snyderman at a conference in Southern California in 2006. (Getty)

From Turness’ memo:

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 – which is at the most conservative end of the spectrum of medical guidance.

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