PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS/AP) — Friends of the freelance journalist from Rhode Island with Ebola are raising money to help pay for what they expect to be more than $500,000 in medical bills.

Ashoka Mukpo, 33, of Providence is being treated at Nebraska Medical Center after contracting Ebola while covering the crisis in Liberia.

He was working for NBC News as a cameraman when he was diagnosed.

NBC and the VICE Media Group say they’re coordinating to assist in paying for his medical care. NBC says it wants a solution where he and his family will not have to pay anything.

His friends have set up a Gofundme page that has raised more than $47,000 as of Monday afternoon, with more than 650 people donating.

The fundraising page says that while Mukpo had travelers insurance, it does not cover “catastrophic events or outbreaks” and therefore his treatment will not be covered.

His flight from Liberia to Nebraska cost $150,000 alone.

The hospital has said Mukpo is improving and responding well to treatment.

On Monday, Mukpo tweeted for the first time since he was diagnosed with Ebola.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Back on twitter, feeling like I’m on the road to good health. Will be posting some thoughts this week. Endless gratitude for the good vibes.

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