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NBC Cameraman With Ebola Spent Years Helping In Liberia

An American cameraman freelancing for NBC news has contracted Ebola in Liberia and is being flown back to the U.S. for treatment.
Posted at 9:36 AM, Oct 03, 2014

An American cameraman freelancing for NBC news contracted the Ebola virus while covering the epidemic in Liberia and is being flown back to the U.S. for treatment.

NBC says 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo started feeling Ebola symptoms on Wednesday and was diagnosed with the virus Thursday, two days after being hired. He had been covering Ebola on various projects in Liberia for about three years.

Mukpo was on assignment with the network's Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman and other NBC crew members in Monrovia, Liberia. Snyderman said the rest of the crew is "feeling well and not showing symptoms."

Snyderman also noted Mukpo began showing symptoms just a day after he was hired.

DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN ON WNBC: "So I believe his exposure was sometime previous to that. We all carry thermometers with us, we all observe the custom now, which is to not shake hands."

NBC News President Deborah Turness says the network isn't taking any chances, though. "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."

Mukpo is the fifth American and first non-medical worker to be diagnosed with Ebola while in West Africa.

Mukpo's background is an interesting one, though it's admittedly hard to glean from this Daily Mail headline. His mother was a British socialite who ran away to marry a Tibetan monk when she was just 16.

Mukpo's various online profiles show he worked for human rights advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch and the Center for International Conflict Resolution, much of his research and work focused on Liberia.

His father released a now widely cited statement that reads, "Having lived there for the last several years, Ashoka was well aware of the risks but felt strongly about trying to help provide honest perspective from the ground level."

This video includes images from Getty Images.