US cameraman tests positive for Ebola in Liberia
An NBC cameraman has tested positive for Ebola in Liberia, and is being flown home to the US for treatment. It marks the fourth time a US citizen has been diagnosed with the virus in the West African country.
Hired on Tuesday as a second cameraman for NBC to cover the Ebola
outbreak, the employee came down with symptoms just one day
later, complaining of tiredness and aches while running a fever.
He then quarantined himself, requested medical advice, and tested
positive for Ebola, according to NBC.
The network said the man has been working in Liberia for the past three years on various projects.
“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,” said NBC News president Deborah Turness in a note to staff.
The remaining members of the news team will be closely monitored, and are being flown home as a precaution, the network said.
Previously infected Americans included two aid workers – Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol – and Dr. Rick Sacra, who was working in a local hospital in Liberia.
Liberia to prosecute man who brought Ebola to US
The Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), with permission from the Ministry of Justice, plans to prosecute the airline passenger who brought Ebola into the US because he lied on an airport questionnaire about not having any contact with an infected person, according to authorities.
“We expect people to do the honorable thing,” said
Binyah Kesselly, chairman of the board of directors of the LAA.
The Associated Press obtained copies of the questionnaire that Thomas Eric Duncan filled out, confirming that among the questions was whether he had cared for an Ebola patient or touched the body of anyone who had died from Ebola. Neighbors told authorities that Duncan might have become infected when he helped a pregnant woman into a taxi for treatment.
Health officials in Texas, the state where Duncan is being treated, have reached out to about 100 people who had contact with the man. So far none of them are showing symptoms.
Meanwhile, four members of the family with whom Duncan was staying were confined to their home under armed guard on Thursday, according to AP. A Dallas County judge gave the order after the family failed to comply with requests not to leave their apartment.
Ebola to become airborne?
The chief of the UN’s Ebola mission said on Tuesday that the
situation is a race against time, and that the epidemic is the
worst disaster he has ever witnessed.
“The longer it moves around a human hosts in the virulent melting pot that is West Africa, the more chances increase that it could mutate,” Anthony Banbury, the Secretary General’s special representative, told The Telegraph. “It is a nightmare scenario [that it could become airborne], and unlikely, but it can’t be ruled out.”
He said that even after a career working in wars and natural disasters, he has never seen anything like this.
“It is a mistake to treat the Ebola epidemic as just a medical crisis,” Banbury said. “It is a logistical and economic crisis...Farmers are being impacted. Markets are being impacted. We will probably see much higher food prices and other, like restaurant workers, will lose out on wages.”