American TV journalist self quarantined in SA hotel over Ebola fears

2014-11-11 10:10

New York — Lara Logan of CBS News is being quarantined in a South Africa hotel for three weeks as a precaution after visiting an American-run hospital treating Ebola patients in Liberia for a 60 Minutes report that aired Sunday.

CBS said on Monday that Logan's 21-day self-quarantine will end this Friday. Neither Logan nor the four other CBS employees in South Africa have shown any sign that they are infected with the virus.

Logan, speaking in a 60 Minutes Overtime web interview from the room where the CBS crew put its report together, admitted to some cabin fever as she waits out her stay. She said the South African government had given the crew permission to work at the hotel.

"We wanted to try, as much as possible, to minimize our exposure to anybody while we still had to get our piece done," she said. "We were very mindful of the fact that this 21-day period after you've been in an Ebola-affected country is very important to everyone."

The interview showed Logan, who was born and raised in Durban, and one of her colleagues in a room stuffed with equipment. "We haven't travelled far from the room that you can see," she said.

The 60 Minutes report detailed her precautions while in Liberia, including being hosed down with a chlorine solution, having her temperature taken frequently and making sure not to touch people. A CBS security worker traveled with the crew with the responsibility of watching everyone's interactions to minimize any chance they could be infected.

A cameraman who was working for NBC News in Liberia contracted the virus but recovered last month. Nancy Snyderman, the NBC News medical correspondent who worked there, was asked to go into voluntary quarantine when she arrived home but that was made mandatory after she was spotted leaving her home. ABC's Richard Besser was not quarantined upon his return from Liberia because the ABC team was judged not to have had exposure to the virus.

Logan briefly teared up when talking about William, a 5-year-old boy featured in her report who was cared for in the hospital by his father but who later died. She said she has a son the same age.

"It's so heartbreaking," she said. "It's really been hard on all of us."

It was Logan's second 60 Minutes story aired since her return from a forced leave of absence after questions were raised about her role in a disputed story on the deadly 2012 raid at the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.
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