US navy halts aid vessel over flu



The US navy is postponing an aid mission to the South Pacific after a sailor on the vessel scheduled to take the trip developed swine flu.

Nearly 50 others sailors on the California-based USS Dubuque also showed symptoms of the new H1N1 virus.

A US Navy spokesman said officials would be looking at other alternatives to meet the mission’s objectives.

Influenza A(H1N1) – update 18

6 May 2009 — As of 16:00 GMT, 6 May 2009, 23 countries have officially reported 1893 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

Mexico has reported 942 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 29 deaths. The United States has reported 642 laboratory confirmed human cases, including two deaths.


The amphibious transport vessel normally carries more than 400 crew and about 900 Marines.

It had been due to depart in early June for Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands as part of America’s Pacific Partnership humanitarian programme.

Lt Daniels said the mission would still go ahead at some point but the USS Dubuque would no longer be part of it.

Navy Lt Sean Robertson said ill crew members had been treated with anti-viral medication and the remaining crew had been given prophylaxis.

US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged that the virus would continue to spread in the United States and elsewhere in the world, and more deaths would follow.

The WHO has urged nations to remain vigilant in spite of the apparently relatively mild nature of swine flu, saying a global pandemic remains a threat.

It points out that the number of infections has continued to grow worldwide.


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