69 on Navy ship test positive for swine flu


POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At least 69 sailors and Marines on a Navy assault helicopter carrier tested positive for H1N1 swine flu and were confined to the ship at Pearl Harbor.

The Marines and sailors are part of the 4,000-member contingent assigned to the USS Boxer, which arrived here on Thursday and will leave today for its home port of San Diego.

Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Self-Kyler, spokeswoman for the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet, said that no Marines or sailors with flulike symptoms were issued liberty passes.

Self-Kyler said all sailors and Marines going on liberty here must pass through a heat sensor. If they have a temperature of more than 100 degrees, they are checked again, she added.

The quarantined sailors and Marines were being held in the Boxer's infirmary and have been treated with Tamiflu. They will be kept there until their symptoms subside, Self-Kyler added.

So far, the swine flu outbreak has been detected only on the Boxer, she said.

The USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group stopped at Pearl Harbor on its last leg of a seven-month deployment.

The other ships at Pearl Harbor that are part of the group are the dock-landing ship USS Comstock, cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans, Self-Kyler added. The cruiser USS Chung Hoon also is part of the Boxer group and pulled to its home berth at Pearl Harbor Monday.