NBC's chief medical editor and correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman and her production team are currently self-quarantined in Liberia after a freelance cameraman tested positive for the Ebola virus while the crew was working on a story about the deadly illness. The cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, was diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday after he felt achy and noticed he was running a slight fever (both symptoms of the virus) while the crew was working on a story. According to Dr. Snyderman, Ashoka — who is originally from Providence, RI — has a very "low amount" of the virus and was diagnosed "very, very early on," so he will hopefully make a good recovery. Dr. Snyderman and her crew (including Ashoka) are currently preparing to travel back to the US where they will all be quarantined for 21 days. The doctor reassured viewers during an interview with Rachel Maddow that she and her crew "present zero to minimal risk" and that no one else in the US is likely to be affected by Ashoka's illness once he makes his return. She also added that the entire NBC crew has been "hyperalert" about catching the virus, and, while they had all been sharing equipment and work spaces, no one had direct physical contact with one another.
During an interview with Today on Friday, Dr. Snyderman revealed that she suspected that Ashoka had contacted Ebola before he joined up with the NBC crew as a freelancer. (He had been working in the region for two weeks before Dr. Snyderman and her team arrived earlier this week.) Meanwhile, Ashoka's parents report that their son's "spirits are better" and that they are expecting him to return on Sunday or Monday. Ashoka is the fourth American to get infected with the virus in recent months. Two doctors working in Africa contracted the disease while doing aid work over the Summer. Another American doctor who was working in Sierra Leone caught the disease and is still undergoing treatment in Atlanta. All of the Americans infected have been brought back to the US for treatment. A Liberian man visiting relatives in Dallas became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in an American hospital.