Apple iPods sold by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service might inadvertently carry a virus.

Apple Computer Inc. issued a warning Tuesday that some iPods shipped after Sept. 12 come with a virus pre-installed.

“We recently discovered that a small number — less than 1 percent — of the Video iPods available for purchase after Sept. 12, 2006, left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus,” a statement on the company’s Web site said.

The virus only affects 30- and 80-gigabyte iPods made available for sale after Sept. 12, according to Apple. Both models are sold by AAFES, and Debbie Byerly, an exchange spokeswoman, confirmed they did get shipments of the popular players after that date.

So far, the problem doesn’t appear to be widespread. Apple has seen fewer than 25 reports about the virus, which affects only Windows-based computers. Anti-virus software included with most Windows computers should be able to detect and remove it, according to Apple.

Links to free anti-virus software have been posted on the Apple Web site, along with instructions on how to properly eliminate the virus.

Thursday, the company reported it sold more than 8.7 million iPods in the fourth quarter of 2006, which ended Sept. 30.

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