A freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has contracted the deadly Ebola virus and will be flown back to the United States for treatment, the network said in a statement Thursday.
The man, identified only as a 33-year-old working with the network’s medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, became symptomatic on Wednesday, when he was said to be running a slight fever and feeling achy.
Less than 12 hours later, medical tests confirmed he had contracted the virus. He is the fifth known American to contract Ebola in this year’s outbreak.
“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 the network’s staff.
The cameraman had only begun working with Snyderman’s crew Tuesday, but had been working on projects in the country for other U.S. outlets, Turness’ memo said.
“The good news is this young man, our colleague, was admitted very, very early,” Snyderman told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “He’s in good spirits.”
The news comes as fear continues to sweep through Dallas, where residents are worried about the potential spread of the virus after a Liberian man there was diagnosed with Ebola this week.
Three American aid workers in Liberia contracted Ebola in recent months. All were flown back to the United States and have since recovered.
A Liberian government official with U.S. citizenship also contracted the virus in Liberia and died in Lagos, Nigeria, where he had gone on a business trip. He is among more than 3,000 people in West Africa who have died of Ebola since March.
The cameraman, whose identity was not released, has been working in Liberia for the last three years, NBC said. The network said it was monitoring Snyderman and other crew members to make sure no one else had contracted the virus.
Though no other crew members have shown symptoms, Turness said in the statement that the remaining staff would be flown back to the U.S. as well and placed under quarantine for 21 days.
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