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Officials say 60 percent of Roosevelt carrier crew have coronavirus antibodies: report

Officials say 60 percent of Roosevelt carrier crew have coronavirus antibodies: report
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Sixty percent of the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier’s crew tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, two U.S. officials told Reuters Monday.

A U.S. Navy investigation into the coronavirus outbreak on the Theodore Roosevelt involved about 400 volunteers, which was enough to provide statistically relevant data about how the virus spread on the ship, according to Reuters. The officials said a formal announcement was expected as early as Tuesday. 

Sixty percent is much higher than what the rate of infection was thought to be. More than 1,100 people on the ship tested positive for COVID-19 as of April, less than a quarter of the crew, according to Reuters. 

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The Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began conducting serology tests in April to search for antibodies in the immune system used to fight the coronavirus. Medical groups like the American Medical Association have cautioned that serology tests can lead to false positives. 

The CDC has reported that there is not enough data to determine whether people with coronavirus antibodies are protected from contracting the disease again. 

The Navy declined to comment to Reuters. 

The Theodore Roosevelt became the center of attention after an outbreak infected hundreds aboard, leading the ship's captain Brett Crozier to pen a letter to Navy officials warning about the spread. When the letter was leaked to the media, Crozier was fired. 

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly then resigned shortly after he flew to the ship in Guam to give a speech during which he criticized Crozier. 

The carrier was forced to dock in Guam for almost two months while the crew was removed from the ship, quarantined and tested and the ship disinfected. It is back at sea.

One sailor on the ship has died from the virus, while several others were admitted to hospitals.