Ebola patient Ashoka Mukpo began posting on Twitter on Monday after a week of treatment in Omaha, saying he feels he is “on the road to good health” and expressing “endless gratitude for the good vibes.”
The American journalist is sitting up, eating and drinking and conversing with hospital staffers, said Shelly Schwedhelm, nursing director of the biocontainment unit at Nebraska Medicine, formerly named Nebraska Medical Center.
Mukpo, 33, a Rhode Island native, was working for NBC News and Vice News in Liberia when he contracted the virus. He was evacuated to the United States, arriving in Nebraska on Oct. 6.
He received brincidofovir, an experimental broad-spectrum antiviral made by Chimerix. Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with Ebola in Texas last month and died there Wednesday, received the same drug.
Mukpo also got a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, an American aid worker who was the first Ebola patient to be treated in the United States.
“Now that I’ve had firsthand [experience] with this scourge of a disease, I’m even more pained at how little care sick West Africans are receiving,” Mukpo said on Twitter.
The Ebola outbreak, concentrated in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, is the deadliest in history. About 8,400 cases of the disease have been reported since March, and more than 4,000 people have died.
The outbreak overloaded the poor West African countries’ weak healthcare systems. Liberia, for example, suffered a severe shortage of treatment beds in recent months; many people were turned away, dying terrible deaths and infecting family members who tried to help them.
Times staff writers James Queally and Robyn Dixon contributed to this report.
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