A 33-year old freelance journalist working in Liberia for NBC News has tested positive for Ebola. The freelancer, an American man whose name they are not releasing, will now be flown back to the United States for treatment. He is the fourth American to contract Ebola in Liberia.
“We are doing everything we can to get him the best care possible,” said NBC News President Deborah Turness in a note to staff. “He will be flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients.”
The journalist came down with symptoms on Wednesday. He had been hired to be a second cameraman for NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who is with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Monrovia, reporting on the Ebola outbreak, the network said.
The cameraman had been working in Liberia for three years. He began shooting for the network Tuesday. The man had also worked for a nongovernmental organization in Liberia, where he had come back there several months ago.
The family was shaken after learning the news: He called me and said, `Dad, you’ve got to call me right away. I think I’m in trouble,’” his father said. “I am proud that he has that integrity, but as a father, I’m very nervous about the fact that he has Ebola,” he said. “I think we’ll all feel relieved when he’s on that plane.”
The 33-year-old man is scheduled to be transported out of the Liberian capital Monrovia on Sunday, said his father, who is a physician in Rhode Island.
The freelancer showed symptoms Wednesday, and was feeling “tired and achy” before being tested. He was reportedly taken to a Doctors Without Borders treatment center and that the positive result came back 12 hours later.
“The rest of the crew, including Dr. Nancy, are being closely monitored and show no symptoms or warning signs,” NBC News President Deborah Turness said. Out of “an abundance of caution,” they next plan to fly Synderman and three other NBC employees with her back on a private charter flight.
Moreover they will be placed under quarantine in the U.S. for 21 days “which is at the most conservative end of the spectrum of medical guidance,” NBC News President explained.