US journalist, infected with Ebola, arrives at Nebraska hospital

Ashoka Mukpo was working as a video journalist for NBC News when he became ill. During a press conference Monday, Mukpo's father speculated on how his son was infected.

Courtesy of Mitchell Levy/Reuters
NBC freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo who contracted Ebola in Liberia, is shown in this family photo released on October 6, 2014.

An American video journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia arrived Monday at a Nebraska hospital where he will be treated for the deadly disease.

Ashoka Mukpo, 33, will be kept in a specialized containment unit at the Nebraska Medical Center that was built specifically to handle this type of illness.

Mukpo was working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC News when he became ill last week. He is the fifth American with Ebola to return to the US for treatment during the latest outbreak, which the World Health Organization estimates has killed more than 3,400 people.

Meanwhile, a Liberian man with Ebola who started showing symptoms while visiting the US is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital.

Mukpo was able to walk off the plane under his own power Monday before being loaded onto a stretcher for the ambulance ride to the hospital.

His parents said they tried to talk him out of going to Liberia last month, but he could not be dissuaded.

His father, Dr. Mitchell Levy, said his son wanted to help the people of Liberia because he lived there for two years while working with a nonprofit.

It's not clear how Mukpo was infected, but Levy said it may have happened when he helped clean a vehicle someone died in.

During his treatment, his parents will have to rely on a video chat system in his hospital room to communicate with him.

Meanwhile in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry said he would create a state task force to ensure Texas responds to infectious diseases like the Ebola virus.

The Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response will be overseen by Dr. Brett Giroir, the CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center. It will develop rapid-response plans if an outbreak is confirmed in the state.

Perry also called on federal officials to implement screening procedures at all US points of entry. Screeners would take travelers' temperature and conduct other assessments to determine their overall health.

Doctors at the Nebraska isolation unit — the largest of four in the US — will evaluate Mukpo before determining how to treat him. They said they will apply the lessons learned while treating American aid worker Dr. Rick Sacra, who was allowed to return home to Massachusetts after three weeks, on Sept. 25.

In Dallas, another man who recently traveled to the US from Liberia was listed in critical condition Sunday. Thomas Eric Duncan has been hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sept. 28.

Dr. Tom Frieden, the CDC's director, said he was aware that Duncan's health had "taken a turn for the worse," but he declined to describe Duncan's condition further.

The virus that causes Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms.

Duncan arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20 and fell ill a few days later. Officials say 10 people definitely had close contact with Duncan and 38 others may have been around him when he was showing symptoms of the disease.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.