US Navy reports first suspected virus case on ship

The USS Boxer, shown here in a navy handout picture, is the first US warship to report a case of suspected coronavirus

The US Navy reported its first suspected case of the new coronavirus aboard a ship, saying a sailor had tested positive for the disease but the result needed to be confirmed by health authorities.

It came a week after another US Navy sailor stationed in southern Italy contracted COVID-19, which has killed more than 3,700 people worldwide including nearly 70 in the United States.

"A Sailor assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) tested 'presumptive positive' for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), marking the first case for a sailor aboard a Navy ship," the Navy said in a statement on Sunday evening.

The sailor was in quarantine at home, it said, adding that "personnel that the individual immediately identified having close contact with have been notified and are in self-isolation at their residences."

The Navy said that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would need to confirm the positive result.

The USS Boxer is currently in port at a naval base in San Diego, according to local media.