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EBOLA IN US: American Journalist Contracts Ebola in Liberia

American Photo Journalist, Ashoka Mukpo

…As US Tightens Security Screening AT Airports

The fourth American known to have contracted the Ebola virus will arrive the country from Liberia on Monday morning.

Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance journalist from Providence, Rhode Island, was working as a cameraman for NBC News in Monrovia, Liberia, last Wednesday when he fell ill.

American Photo Journalist, Ashoka Mukpo

American Photo Journalist, Ashoka Mukpo

The first thing the 33-year-old did was to call his father, Dr. Mitchell Levy, who was attending a medical conference in Barcelona at the time.

‘My heart sunk. He said, “Dad pick up your phone. Answer the phone. I think I’m in trouble,'” Levy said.

Mukpo flew out of Liberia on Sunday night and he is due to arrive the US on Monday morning where  a team of more than 40 medical staff members – including registered nurses, respiratory therapists, patient-care technicians – will be on hand to support his needs.

The journalist will later be flown in a specially designed jet that includes ‘an isopod’ – a plastic enclosure with a filtration system – that allows safe transport of highly infectious patients.

His family, including his father, his mom Diana and British girlfriend Helen, will be waiting for him.

‘She feels for Ashoka; they love each other very deeply,’ said Levy.

The family won’t be allowed to embrace or touch but will communicate and see each other via camera.

Meanwhile, security screening at airports around the United States could be stepped in a bid to stop the outbreak of  Ebola on American soil.

Federal officials have said every passenger travelling from all countries ravaged by the infection could face the checks such as having their temperature taken on arrival.

Centers for Disease Control Director Thomas Friedan tried to assure the public by saying that there is ‘no doubt we can stop Ebola in this country’.

However he admitted that he was concerned for those in Dallas who had come into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first man to be diagnosed while in the U.S,.

Frieden said Duncan is in a critical condition and is struggling to survive. He has also not been given any of the experimental drugs used on other patients because they have run out.

At the same time police in Dallas combed the streets in search of a homeless man who rode in the same ambulance that transported Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan to the hospital.

The panhandler was the very next person taken to the hospital in the ambulance from Dallas Fire-Rescue station 37 and officials fear he may have come in contact with some of Duncan’s bodily fluids on September 28.

The CDC is currently monitoring 48 people in Dallas who may have come into contact with Duncan while he was contagious with the deadly disease.



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