NBC Cameraman To Be Released After Being Cured Of Ebola

The NBC freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola while on assignment in Liberia has been released from a hospital in Nebraska:

Ashoka Mukpo, the cameraman diagnosed with Ebola while working in Liberia as a freelancer for NBC News, has been declared free of the virus and will be allowed to leave a biocontainment unit at the Nebraska Medical Center on Wednesday, the hospital said Tuesday.

A blood test confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Mukpo, 33 — one of eight Americans to have been diagnosed with Ebola — no longer has the virus in his bloodstream, the hospital said. It said he’s free to head home to Rhode Island. “Recovering from Ebola is a truly humbling feeling,” the hospital quoted Mukpo as saying. “Too many are not as fortunate and lucky as I’ve been. I’m very happy to be alive.”

Mukpo announced his status in a tweet:

In other good news, Nina Pham, one of the two nurses who was infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas, seems to be on the road to recovery herself:

Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who was infected with Ebola while caring for a Liberian man who died this month, has been upgraded to good condition, the National Institutes of Health said Tuesday.

Pham, 26, had been listed in fair condition since she was flown Thursday to a special NIH clinical studies unit in Maryland from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she and a second nurse tested positive for the virus after Thomas Eric Duncan died Oct. 8. The NIH said it would release no further information, but it said Pham was grateful “for everyone’s concerns and well wishes.”

There is presently no status update on the other nurse, Amber Ray Vinson, who is being treated at Emory University in Atlanta, but it does seem like things are proceeding in the right direction for both women, which is good news.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    Good news indeed and cu-dos to NBC for doing the right thing for this guy who was not really an employee.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    A cure would be an unqualified good. What we’re experiencing is recoveries after being tended in facilities that are specializing in treating people with Ebola.

    In a country of more than 300 million people we have the capacity to treat fewer than 20 people in those facilities. We either need a lot more capacity or to figure out a way to avoid treating more than 20 people or both.

  3. John Peabody says:

    Yes, that hateful RCA! Umm, I mean GE! I mean, David Sarnoff!

  4. stonetools says:

    The professionals are working hard and getting the job done. I’m noting a great fall off in the number of articles blaming “Obama’s CDC” for “letting ebola” into America. Of course, not all the nonsense has stopped, but we should all take a moment for praising the CDC and the NIH for what was overall, a good (not great) performance.

  5. JKB says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I agree, these are recoveries not cures. Ebola is suppose persist in semen for 30 or more days after recovery. So a cure would be one that put an end to that.

    I’ve read that the nurses and, I believe, this cameraman were given transfusions from one of the earlier recovered doctors. I didn’t see it confirmed but it may be one who had the experimental vaccine. If so, that is very good progress toward a cure.

    This vaccine is from the company that was excluded from competing for a contract when the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response did a sole-source contract to direct funding to a company controlled by a rich Democrat donor, Ron Perlman, for a Smallpox vaccine. (Note the 3-digit profit included in that contract) That company has gone belly up.

    The company that most fought the peculiar sole-source contract award to Siga was Chimerix, which argued that its drug had far more promise than Siga’s. And, in fact, Chimerix’s Brincidofovir is an antiviral medication being developed for treatment of smallpox but also Ebola and adenovirus. In animal trials, it’s shown some success against adenoviruses, smallpox, and herpes—and preliminary tests show some promise against Ebola. On Oct. 6, the FDA authorized its use for some Ebola patients.

  6. bill says:

    good news, of course there’s going to be some backlash on why “some” survived…..
    as the onion noted several months ago


    @Dave Schuler: hopefully we don’t see a bunch of infected trying to board flights for the USA as we seem to control it better.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools: Nothing works right the first time. They’ve done pretty good, and one expects they’ll do better if there’s a next time.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Wait…I thought we were all going to die?
    All that bed-wetting by Jack and JKB for nothing?
    And how are Republicans going to spin people surviving as Obama’s fault?
    Oh…I see…JKB is already on it.

  9. beth says:

    @C. Clavin: I’m guessing he’s never heard of Halliburton.

  10. beth says:

    @Dave Schuler: I tend to agree with you on that. Now that we’re vigorously checking arriving airline passengers, it’s only a matter of time before we find people that may have to be quarantined. I can’t imagine any airline would be willing to fly them back to where they came from. I guess we don’t need the same kind of set-ups for quarantine that we do for actually treating the disease but I haven’t really seen any discussion of what the plan is to do with people coming from affected areas who may show up with slight fevers and need to be watched.

  11. al-Ameda says:

    Maybe Darrell Issa should investigate this: Why didn’t Obama act to get this man the care and treatment he needed sooner?

  12. michael reynolds says:

    So, three cases, one death so far.

    Yes, I can certainly see why we needed to freak out.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Pretty sure a country of 330 million people with an economy of 17 trillion dollars can manage to convert a few more hospital wards to isolation if they’re needed. That’s a slightly less onerous task than, say, ramping up tank production for WW2. In fact, I’m pretty sure we could increase isolation beds by a factor of ten over a long weekend.

  14. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I agree. Indeed, it’s my point.

    However, it can’t be done instantaneously or with a wave of a hand. It’s something we should be doing.

  15. humanoid.panda says:

    @JKB: Was that no-bid contract a cover for money paid to Susan Rice to cover up Benghazi?

  16. Gustopher says:


    Ebola is suppose persist in semen for 30 or more days after recovery.

    I really have no idea where you get your crazy information from, but you really need to stop spreading your insane, wildly inaccurate, preposterous claims. 30 days of deadly semen is just ridiculously optimististc… It’s longer.

    According to the World Health Organization, “Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.” Let us hope that he has been sent home with a couple of boxes of special antiviral tissues.

    (Also, it makes me question how countries can be declared Ebola free 42 days after the last infection, it should be 49 days after the last recovery.)

  17. T says:

    30 days of deadly semen

    what a great name for a band

  18. JKB says:


    I’m fairly certain, using the old math, that 7 weeks is more than 30 days. So my statement while not precise is not inaccurate.

    From the CDC:

    Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. Abstinence from sex (including oral sex) is recommended for at least 3 months. If abstinence is not possible, condoms may help prevent the spread of disease.

    Now, oddly, that official statement on the CDC website seems to be contradictory. Unless, they are intimating that men cannot recover from Ebola faster than 3 months?