||Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM
The US navy will test all 4,800 crew members of the USS Ronald Reagan for tuberculosis (TB) after initial tests last week showed many sailors were positive for the disease. The testing is expected to be finished by Friday.
The first round of tests involved 776 people who might have contacted with an infected sailor. Of those tested, 4.4 percent were found positive for tuberculosis while less than 1 percent of those who tested positive have developed the active disease.
The initial tests were triggered by a 32-year-old sailor who became sick and was diagnosed with active tuberculosis two weeks ago. The sailor had been aboard the aircraft carrier when it returned July 6 after a six-month trip.
As many as 1,200 family and friends who were on board for part of the trip between Hawaii and San Diego will be tested for tuberculosis as well.
The infected sailor was initially isolated at San Diego Naval Medical Center. He returned home, but remains in an informal quarantine until the final tests for tuberculosis (TB) are completed.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The disease is not common in the US. During 2003, a total of 14,871 tuberculosis (TB) cases or 5.1 cases per 100,000 population were reported in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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