WASHINGTON: An American freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia arrived in the United States on Monday to receive treatment, the fifth US national to catch the deadly virus.
The plane carrying 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo left the Liberian capital Monrovia and made a brief refuelling stop in Bangor, Maine, as it headed to the Nebraska Medical Center, NBC reported.
Mukpo, who had worked on humanitarian projects in Liberia for several years, was hired by NBC News last Tuesday, but a day later put himself under quarantine as he came down with symptoms of the virus that has been ravaging west Africa.
The Nebraska Medical Center, is among just a handful in the US able to handle Ebola patients at this time, and has successfully treated a doctor who was also infected in Liberia.
Mukpo was in “great spirits” and, in a positive sign, was eating and drinking on his own, NBC News chief medical editor and correspondent Nancy Snyderman told the network.
He was feeling “not that ill,” his father Mitchell Levy told NBC.NBC News president Deborah Turness said Friday that the crew working with Mukpo in Liberia were being closely monitored but were showing no symptoms.
She added that they would be flown back on a chartered plane, and would then put themselves under quarantine for 21 days — the maximum incubation period for the virus.
Liberia is the country hit hardest by the worst Ebola outbreak on record, accounting for about two-thirds of the total 3,338 deaths recorded in west Africa.
The fever that the Ebola virus unleashes can fell its victims within days, causing severe muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and — in many cases — unstoppable internal and external bleeding.