USS Fort McHenry amphibious warship has essentially been quarantined at sea for over two months and has been unable to make a port call due to an outbreak of a viral infection similar to mumps.
At least 25 of the more than 700 troops on the ship have been diagnosed with parotitis. All seven hundred and three military personnel aboard the ship have received measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) booster vaccinations, according to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquartered in Bahrain.
The illness first broke out in December, with the most recent case being reported on March 9.
“None of the cases are life-threatening and all have either already made or are expected to make a full recovery,” the Fifth Fleet said in a statement provided to CNN
A US military official tells CNN that when there are major disease outbreaks, a decision may be taken to halt port visits until 30 days after the last reported illness due to varying incubation periods.
A US Navy spokesman told that a ship is like a college dorm, locker room, or even a first-grade class. People are living in close proximity, and illnesses make the rounds from time to time, but this situation is quite unusual.
The Navy said that it believes it has a handle on the situation.
As only a small portion of the crew has been affected by the virus, routine unit-level training operations have continued with some modification to the training schedules.