X

US Warship Must Stay at Sea During Outbreak

Mumps-like infection affects 25 crew members
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2019 7:21 PM CDT
Senegalese port workers prepare for the arrival of the USS Fort McHenry in Dakar in 2007.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

(Newser) – A US warship has been staying at sea, not allowed to make a port call, for more than two months because of an outbreak of a viral infection among the crew. Military officials said 25 of the more than 700 sailors and Marines on the Fort McHenry have been diagnosed with parotitis, CNN reports, which is a bit like the mumps. The outbreak began in December, and the most recent case was reported last week. "None of the cases are life-threatening and all have either already made or are expected to make a full recovery," a statement from the Fifth Fleet said. Everyone aboard has received measles, mumps, and rubella booster vaccinations, the Fifth Fleet said, adding that 24 of the patients are back on duty. They had been quarantined after falling ill, and living and work spaces were disinfected.

Military officials hadn't announced the outbreak, per CNN, before being asked about it. And they don't want to call it a quarantine, per the Navy Times. They say the amphibious warship's schedule is being altered while its medical personnel assess the situation, and they give no schedule for its next port call. The ship, currently in the Arabian Sea, last made a port call in Romania on Jan. 7. A Navy spokesman said the outbreak hasn't affected the warship's ability to perform its mission. A Facebook post says the ship is more than one-third of the way through its deployment. (At one time, the "plague of the sea" was scurvy.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
9%
36%
11%
10%
29%
5%