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PRINCETON, NJ—A former vice president of consumer education of Johnson and Johnson, and NBC chief medical correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has been placed under a mandatory Ebola quarantine after allegedly being seen running errands in Mercer County in violation of a voluntary quarantine.
Snyderman had recently returned from Liberia, where a cameraman on her team caught the deadly illness and has since been transported to Nebraska for treatment. The cameraman is Ashoka Mukpo, who has been working in Liberia for three years and has been documenting the Ebola epidemic.
He said, before becoming sick, that he had been "taking serious precautions and washing with chlorine regularly," and he likely reported his feeling ill shortly after coming down with symptoms.
Afterwards, Mukpo remained at a Doctors without Borders facility before being picked up and flown to Nebraska.
NBC, "out of an abundance of caution," flew Snyderman and three members of her crew back to the United States on a chartered jet, and communicated to the public that the team would "place themselves under quarantine in the United States for 21 days."
Twenty-one days is the maximum known time after contraction of the virus for symptoms to present. The minimum interval is 2 days.
According to the online newspaper Planet Princeton, Snyderman was seen by "several" of its readers in public on October 8 and 9.
The media personality was allegedly seen, in her black Mercedes, in the parking lot of the Peasant Grill in Hopewell, with two men. One of the men got out of the car to pick up a take-out order.
The woman alleged to be Snyderman was seen with her hair pulled back and sunglasses on, according to Planet Princeton.
NBC had assured state health authorities beforehand that the Snyderman team would not come to work, would check their temperature twice a day, and would keep in contact with the health authorities.
Word of quarantine violations by the team reached the state authorities, which have now imposed the mandatory quarantine on the Snyderman team. The state Department of Health has not divulged which members were violating quarantine, or how he or she was doing so, citing privacy restrictions.
Nonetheless, Planet Princeton suggests that it was likely Snyderman herself. Snyderman is believed to be of low risk, as Mukpo reported his illness one day after the Snyderman team had hired him, and the team had been taking extensive precautions beforehand.