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Breaking: A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the United States for treatment.
The infected freelancer was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Snyderman is with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Monrovia, reporting on the Ebola outbreak. They are being monitored and will be quarantined for 21 days upon their imminent return from Africa.
On Tuesday night, Snyderman and her team reported a story titled, Inside the Ebola Hot Zone in Liberia for “NBC Nightly News.” We’re told Snyderman will phone in to “The Rachel Maddow Show” this evening to discuss the diagnosis.
NBC says the freelancer came down with symptoms on Wednesday. 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, he went to a treatment center to be tested for the virus. The positive result came back just under 12 hours later.
The cameraman, who also is a writer, has been working in Liberia on various projects for the past three years. NBC News is withholding his name at the request of his family.
“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,” NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a note to staff.
Read Turness’ note to NBC News staff after the jump…
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, Medecins 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.