KEY POINTS

  • A US soldier based in Camp Carroll has tested positive for COVID-19
  • The 23-year-old service member becomes the first US military to have been infected by the virus
  • He is currently in self-quarantine at his off-base residence

A United States Forces Korea (USFK) soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in Waegwan, South Korea has been tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first U.S. service member to be infected by the deadly strain.

The 23-year-old patient is currently in self-quarantine at his off-base residence, said the USFK in a public affairs statement Tuesday.

It further stated that the soldier visited Camp Walker, a U.S. military base in Daegu, South Korea on February 24th and Camp Carroll on February 21st to 25th.

A jump in the number of deaths and infections in South Korea and elsewhere outside China has fanned concerns the COVID-19 outbreak could last longer and hammer the global economy A jump in the number of deaths and infections in South Korea and elsewhere outside China has fanned concerns the COVID-19 outbreak could last longer and hammer the global economy Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je

Alongside USFK health professionals, the Korean Centers for Disease Control (KCDC) are “actively conducting contact tracing” to know whether there are others who might have been infected during his visit to the said camps.

The USFK has also raised its risk level to “high” Wednesday after the soldier tested positive and at the same time, their way of “caution and utilizing the USFK Commander's authorities to protect the USFK population from COVID-19,” said Good Morning America.

“USFK encourages all personnel to continue to practice strict proper hygiene procedures as the best ways to prevent the spread of viruses and protect the USFK population,” the statement added.

South Korea has the second-largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1, 146, including 11 fatalities. China, being the epicenter of the virus, now has 77, 754 cases.