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