10/02/2014 08:38 pm ET Updated Oct 03, 2014

NBC News Freelancer In Africa Diagnosed With Ebola

NBC News reported that one of its American freelancers working in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, the network reported Thursday night.

The 33-year-old man was a freelance cameraman on NBC News' reporting team covering the Ebola epidemic in Monrovia, Liberia. The freelancer started showing symptoms on Wednesday, and was then found to have a fever. He immediately quarantined himself. On Thursday morning, he was tested by Medicins Sans Frontieres for the virus. A positive result came back hours later.

NBC News identified the cameraman as Ashoka Mukpo. He is to be flown back to the U.S. for treatment on Sunday, his father told the Wall Street Journal. The father learned of his son's condition Thursday. "He called me and said, 'Dad, you’ve got to call me right away. I think I’m in trouble,'" the father said.

The rest of the NBC News crew that the diagnosed man was working with is being monitored, but were not showing signs of infection at the time. They are to be flown back to the U.S. as well, and will be placed under quarantine. The team includes NBC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who tweeted the news.

Four Americans have now contracted Ebola in Liberia, ABC notes.

Below is the full statement from Turness that was released Thursday evening.


As you know, Dr. Nancy Snyderman and our news team are in Liberia covering the Ebola outbreak. One of the members of their crew is an American freelance cameraman who has worked in Liberia for the past three years and has recently been covering the epidemic for US media outlets. On Tuesday he began working with our team. Today, he tested positive for Ebola.

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.

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.

We know you share our concern for our colleagues and we will continue to keep you up to date and informed. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me or David Verdi with any questions.




Ebola in West Africa