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US sailor in Italy infected with coronavirus, EUCOM says

Naval Support Activity Naples in Capodichino, Italy.

MAT MURCH/U.S. NAVY

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 7, 2020

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — U.S. European Command confirmed a U.S. sailor stationed at Naval Support Activity Naples tested positive for the coronavirus Friday, in the first confirmed case of COVID-19 linked to a U.S. service member in Europe.

“Military health professionals are conducting a thorough contact investigation to determine whether any other personnel may have been exposed,” EUCOM said in a statement on Saturday.

Personnel who the service member said he has had close contact with have been notified already and are in self-isolation in their residence, EUCOM said.

In northern Italy, the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base had 134 people in isolation or self-quarantine Friday and instructed everyone to keep their distance from others as a precaution.

Both Aviano and U.S. Army Garrison Italy have closed schools through March 15. In the south, schools on Navy bases in Sigonella and Naples – where EUCOM said the first positive case was confirmed Friday – remained open as of Thursday.

The Italian Civil Protection Agency said Friday that the death toll from the virus hit 197 in Italy and the total number of confirmed cases is 3916, with 4,636 suspected cases.

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