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Sailors Exposed to Tuberculosis to Be Screened

July 19, 2006|From a Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Navy medical personnel are giving tuberculosis tests to more than 400 sailors and three dozen civilians after a sailor aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was hospitalized here with active TB, officials said Tuesday.

The infected 32-year-old petty officer first class was aboard the carrier when it returned July 6 after a six-month deployment, along with 4,800 military personnel and 1,200 family members and others who joined the ship in Hawaii for a "tiger cruise."

The sailor was initially placed in the isolation ward at San Diego Naval Medical Center. He has since returned to his home but is in a kind of informal quarantine while tests are done, said Capt. Frank Chapman.

"We're treating it as if he's very infectious," said Chapman, assistant force surgeon.

Sailors and civilians who shared sleeping quarters with the petty officer are being tested. After that, a decision will be made about whether to require tests of a larger group, Chapman said.

Sailors or civilians concerned about possible exposure can call (619) 556-7076.

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