(Reuters) – 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 on Wednesday that included aches and fatigue, 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 disclosed by the network, is the fifth U.S. citizen overall to have contracted the disease in West Africa. All but one were infected in Liberia.
An American doctor diagnosed with Ebola in the neighboring country of Sierra Leone arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment on Sept. 9 and is still being treated.
A Liberian man visiting relatives in Dallas recently became the first Ebola patient to be diagnosed in the United States.
The 33-year-old journalist who fell ill this week had been 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 sick 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.