The U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) has confirmed the first case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in the EUCOM theater.
The patient was identified as a U.S. Navy sailor stationed at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples in Italy. This marked the first positive case of the virus infection of a U.S. service member in Europe.
The statement from EUCOM:
On Mar. 6, a U.S. Navy sailor stationed at Naval Support Activity Naples tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), marking the first positive case of a U.S. service member in Europe. The member is currently restricted to their residence, receiving supportive and medical care in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and host nation guidelines.
Military health professionals are conducting a thorough contact investigation to determine whether any other personnel may have been exposed. Depending on the results of that investigation, additional precautionary measures may be taken.
Personnel that the service member immediately identified having close contact with have been notified and are in self-isolation at their residence.
U.S. European Command and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa are committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our force. We remain in close coordination with Italian authorities, U.S. embassy, and public health authorities to ensure the well-being of our personnel and local population.
This is the second confirmed case of coronavirus infection of a U.S. military service member. The first case was reported in South Korea where a 23-year old male soldier, based at Camp Carroll near Daegu, was infected with the virus.
Fox News has earlier reported that a U.S. Army soldier deployed to Kuwait was being monitored for coronavirus after returning from a vacation in Italy.
“The soldier was tested for the virus and placed in isolation as a precautionary measure while officials wait for the results”, Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, was quoted as saying in the report.
“Those with whom the soldier has had recent contact have also been screened in accordance with the current guidance from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Urban added.