Thirteen sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for covid-19 after recovering from the disease caused by the new coronavirus, reports Politico.
The Navy initially said on Saturday afternoon that five sailors had tested positive a second time. But Politico, citing two anonymous defense officials, later reported that eight other sailors had been diagnosed again.
An epidemic on the ship began in March, forcing the Roosevelt to divert to Guam, where the sailors spent weeks in solitary confinement or quarantine. In total, the military has reported more than 1,000 confirmed cases among the crew of 4,800.
The five sailors who had initially tested positive a second time had been subjected to at least two weeks of isolation and had tested negative twice in a row before being allowed to board the vessel. When they returned to the ship, they developed symptoms of flu-like illness before being tested positive a second time.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Friday that treating the virus was “a learning process.”
“This shows us what we have known for a long time – that this is a very stubborn infectious disease,” Hoffman said at a press conference.
A Navy spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.