An American journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia is officially clear of the virus, the hospital where he was treated said Tuesday.
The Nebraska Medical Center made the announcement of NBC freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo’s recovery after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed his blood test no longer showed presence of the virus, according to NBC News. The 33-year-old, who arrived at the hospital on Oct. 6 after being evacuated from Liberia, will now be allowed to leave his isolation unit and return home to Rhode Island, the hospital said.
“Recovering from Ebola is a truly humbling feeling,” Mukpo told the hospital. “Too many are not as fortunate and lucky as I’ve been. I’m very happy to be alive.”
As part of his treatment, Mukpo had received a blood donation from Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to be diagnosed with Ebola and who was also treated at the Nebraska Medical Center, in addition to an experimental drug called brincidofovir.
The photojournalist was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 2 in Liberia, making him the fourth American to contract the virus. That number has since risen to eight Americans who have developed the deadly disease in an outbreak that has claimed over 4,500 lives, according to the World Health Organization.
The only Ebola fatality in the U.S. thus far has been that of Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who died in Dallas on Oct. 8. Meanwhile, an unnamed patient and two Dallas nurses, Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, remain in treatment, according to CNN. Pham’s condition was upgraded from “fair” to “good” Tuesday, while Vinson’s mom told ABC Tuesday that her daughter is “doing OK, just trying to get stronger.”
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