Dad of RI native with Ebola ‘cautiously optimistic’

Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman who grew up in Rhode Island, is the latest American diagnosed with Ebola. (Facebook Photo)

OMAHA, Neb. (WPRI) — The father of a Providence native currently being treated for Ebola says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about his son’s condition.

According to doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center, Ashoka Mukpo has shown a very modest improvement from his condition over the past few days.

“He’s been taking in some fluids and drinking Gatorade,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the hospital’s Biocontainment Unit. “But, everyone needs to be reminded that this is still a very serious illness we’re dealing with and no one has a lot of experience treating it.”

Mukpo, a freelance photographer, contracted the disease while covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

His father, Dr. Mitchell Levy of Providence, said he was incredibly grateful for the care his son’s been receiving in Nebraska.

“We definitely aren’t out of the woods, but it’s nice to see even a small amount of improvement,” Levy said.

According to a hospital news release, Mukpo is receiving Brincidofovir, an experimental antiviral medication that has been used to treat other viruses. He’s also received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly – an aid worker who recovered from Ebola.

The Nebraska Medical Center successfully treated another Ebola patient. Dr. Rick Sacra of Boston was released from the hospital at the end of September after three weeks of treatment.

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