An American freelance cameraman working with NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola.
Snyderman, a resident of Princeton, is being flown back to the United States with the rest of her crew on a private charter flight. They group is being closely monitored and is showing no symptoms or warning signs of Ebola. Upon their return, Snyderman and her crew will be placed under quarantine for 21 days as a precaution, according to NBC News President Deborah Turness.
Snyderman has been NBC’s chief medical correspondent since 2006. She joined the network after 15 years as a correspondent with ABC. She also previously served as a vice president at Johnson & Johnson.
The infected cameraman, age 33, was hired this week to be a second cameraman for Snyderman, who was with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Liberia reporting on the Ebola outbreak.
The cameraman, who is also a writer, came down with symptoms on Wednesday. He felt tired and achy, and was running a slight fever. He immediately quarantined himself and sought medical advice. He tested positive for the Ebola virus about 12 hours later. He is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola in Liberia. He has been working in Liberia on various projects for the past three years. He is being flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients. Two American aid workers were infected in July while working for Samaritan’s Purse in Monrovia. Last month another doctor as diagnosed with the virus after working at a local hospital in Liberia. Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan is currently being treated for Ebola at a hospital in Dallas.
The text of the letter to NBC staff from Turness:
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, Medicins 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.