- A sailor aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, Politico reported, citing a statement from Pacific Fleet.
- The Theodore Roosevelt has been battling a coronavirus outbreak that saw more than 1,000 sailors test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
- After most of the crew was evacuated ashore, thousands of sailors have started to return to the ship. But, the Navy reports that a number of sailors who were cleared to get back on after testing negative twice have retested positive for COVID-19.
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The US Navy reports that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was sidelined by a severe coronavirus outbreak, has had a sailor diagnosed with tuberculosis, another infectious disease.
“In the course of the ship’s rigorous infection surveillance, a single active case of TB was identified and diagnosed,” Pacific Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Myers Vasquez told Politico. “The individual has been removed from the ship, isolated, and will remain under the direct care of the naval health system until cleared by doctors.”
Unlike the coronavirus, tuberculosis is a bacterial infection, but like the virus that crippled the USS Theodore Roosevelt, it can have a devastating effect on the lungs.
A coronavirus outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier upended its Pacific deployment and forced the ship into port in Guam, where the carrier has been since late March.
As the number of cases climbed, reaching 1,102 by the end of April, the Navy evacuated over 80% of the carrier’s crew of roughly 4,800 sailors ashore and placed them in isolation.
In recent weeks, sailors have begun returning to the ship, but only on the condition that they meet the health requirements. As of Thursday, 2,900 sailors had returned to the carrier.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anna Van Nuys/Handout
Pacific Fleet said in a statement on Thursday that five sailors who had been cleared to return to the USS Theodore Roosevelt had retested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and were removed from the ship.
The five sailors had previously tested positive for the virus and were removed from the ship and placed in isolation on Guam. All five sailors completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine and tested negative twice before they were allowed to return to the ship.
The number of sailors who have retested positive for COVID-19 after getting back on the ship has more than doubled, Politico reported, revealing that a total of 13 sailors have retested positive.
The latest developments aboard the carrier represent new setbacks as the USS Theodore Roosevelt fights for a healthy ship that get once again get underway.
“We are committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our force,” Cmdr. Vasquez told Insider in an emailed statement this week.
“As we continue to learn more about this virus,” he said, “the Navy will aggressively respond to COVID virus in accordance with the latest guidance and best practices, and then evolve and adapt as experience is gained.”
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