Swine flu strikes Navy group berthed at Pearl Harbor
By Gregg K. Kakesako
POSTED: 08:50 a.m. HST, Jul 21, 2009
At least 69 sailors and Marines assigned to Navy assault helicopter carrier now berthed at Pearl Harbor on its way home to San Diego have tested positive for H1N1 swine flu and have been confined to the ship.
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 tomorrow for San Diego.
Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Self-Kyler, spokesman for the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet, said that there are no Marines or sailors from USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group who are on liberty here that have flulike symptoms.
The other ships at Pearl Harbor as part of the Boxer 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 yesterday.
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 quarantine sailors and Marines are 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 only been detected on the Boxer, she said.
The Boxer group stopped at Pearl Harbor on its last leg of a seven-month deployment.