New Jersey health officials have ordered into mandatory quarantine an NBC News crew that worked with an American cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia, though the group has no symptoms, its health department said on Saturday.
Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is receiving treatment at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which said on Friday that he had shown modest improvement and was in stable condition.
The death this week of the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has increased fears that Ebola could spread outside West Africa, where it has killed more than 4,000 people, and U.S. health authorities are stepping up efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Medical teams at New York’s JFK airport, armed with Ebola questionnaires and temperature guns, began screening travellers from three West African nations on Saturday.
The NBC News crew had agreed with New Jersey health officials to sequester themselves upon return the United States but then failed to do so, Donna Leusner, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Health, said in a statement.
The mandatory quarantine was issued late on Friday and will ensure the group remains confined until Oct. 22, the end of a 21-day maximum incubation period for Ebola, Leusner said.
“The NBC crew remains symptom-free, so there is no reason for concern of exposure to the community,” she said.
She declined to provide additional details about the crew, its size and what led to the mandatory order being issued, citing patient privacy.
(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida; Editing by Frank McGurty and Raissa Kasolowsky)
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