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Woman, 113, Overcomes Coronavirus While Sailors Get It Twice

Maria Branyas says she "feels good" after the 113-year-old Spanish woman recovered from the coronavirus.

A 113-year-old Spanish woman says she is in good health after having overcome infection by the coronavirus.

Maria Branyas said she "feels good". She avoided developing severe COVID-19 symptoms and had her latest test come back negative.

Her daughter told Spanish news agency EFE that her mother, who was born in the United States, tested positive for the virus in April.

"As far as my health, I feel good, with the little issues everyone has as we get older, but I feel fine," Branyas told EFE this week from her nursing home where several residents have fallen ill and died from the virus.

Branyas was born in San Francisco on March 4, 1907 after her family emigrated to Mexico and then the US, as her children recount in a Twitter account run in her name called "Super Catalan Grandmother".

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After living for some years in New Orleans where her father founded a magazine, she returned to Spain's northeastern Catalonia region where she lives in the town of Olot.

Despite her poor hearing and sight, Branyas said she was aware of the pandemic that has claimed over 27,000 lives in Spain.

"It is a tragedy," she said, "since only a few people seem to know where it came from, how it got here and why."

But a handful of navy sailors haven't been as fortunate as Branyas.

The US navy says five sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier have tested positive for the coronavirus for the second time.

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Five sailors on the US aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam due to a COVID-19 outbreak have tested positive for the virus for the second time and have been taken off the ship, the navy says.

The resurgence of the virus in the five sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt underscores the befuddling behaviour of the highly contagious virus and raises questions about how troops that test positive can be reintegrated into the military, particularly on ships.

US Sailors. Image: Getty Images

All five sailors had previously tested positive and had gone through at least two weeks of isolation. As part of the process, they all had to test negative twice in a row, with the tests separated by at least a day or two before they were allowed to go back to the ship.

The Roosevelt has been at port in Guam since late March after the outbreak of the virus was discovered. More than 4000 of the 4800 crew members have gone ashore since then for quarantine or isolation. Earlier this month hundreds of sailors began returning to the ship, in co-ordinated waves, to get ready to set sail again.

As of Thursday, more than 2900 sailors have reboarded the ship, and about 25 per cent of the more than 1000 who had tested positive have now recovered, according to the navy.

One US official familiar with the situation on the ship said commanders don't know why this is happening but suggested it could be related to questions about testing accuracy.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that screening has been intensified on the ship. And, anyone who exhibits any flu-like symptoms at all is being tested and removed.

The sailors have been tested using the nasal swab. And in some cases the infection can be at such a low level that it is not detected by the test. It's not clear whether cases like these are actual relapses, or if people tested negative without really being completely clear of the virus.