An American freelance television cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus and will be flown back to the United States for treatment, the network said on Thursday in an online report.
Diagnosis of the cameraman, who the network said came down with symptoms that included aches and fatigue on Wednesday, is believed to mark the first time an American journalist has been infected with the deadly virus since the current outbreak in West Africa.
The freelancer, who NBC said works as a writer as well as a cameraman, and whose name was not given by the network, is the fourth U.S. citizen overall to have contracted the disease in Liberia.
A Liberan man visiting relatives in Dallas recently became the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States.
The 33-year-old journalist was hired on Tuesday to serve as a second cameraman for NBC News chief medical editor and correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who is with three other network employees on assignment in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, covering the Ebola outbreak.
Immediately after beginning to feel ill and discovering he was running a slight fever, the cameraman quarantined himself and sought medical advice. He then went to a Doctors Without Borders treatment center to be tested for the virus, and the positive result came back less than 12 hours later, NBC said.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)