The New York doctor just back from West Africa who has preliminarily tested positive for Ebola was risking his life “to help others” with the virus, the NBC News freelancer who survived the disease said Friday. Ashoka Mukpo, the cameraman diagnosed with Ebola while working in Liberia, urged followers on Twitter to look at the facts before judging Doctors Without Borders medic Craig Spencer, 33. Spencer arrived Friday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport via Europe from Guinea but did not experience symptoms until early Thursday.
“I hope that as information comes out about the NYC case, we remember he is a doctor who risked his life to help others,” Mukpo wrote late Thursday. “Also, from what we saw with my case and Duncan's, it is very hard to pass the virus on in early stages. People get Ebola from being around very, very sick people, NOT people who felt a little funny and then became symptomatic later that night.”
He added: “I'm just saying: I know people are tense but let's get the facts before people start judging a very scared human who took risks for others. Heart goes out to the Doctors Without Borders family tonight. They have to make tough decisions re staff safety, but can't eliminate risk.”
Mukpo left hospital earlier this week after being declared free of Ebola.
- Alastair Jamieson