The US Navy has postponed an aid mission to the South Pacific after nearly 50 sailors began showing symptoms of the H1N1 virus.

The California-based USS Dubuque had been preparing to deploy in early June on the fourth annual Pacific Partnership, a military and civilian project to bring medical care to several southern Pacific nations.

Chief Commander of the ship, Lt John Daniels said that the Navy was using prudent judgement to cancel the ship’s mission.

“We’re doing real vigilant cleaning of the ship,” said Daniels.

The affected sailors are being treated with the antiviral drug Tamiflu and have been told to stay at home until they recover. Around 420 unaffected sailors are taking medicine to reduce the risk of contracting the flu while still working their normal duty shifts.

The vessel normally carries more than 400 crew members and about 900 Marines.

By Daniel Garrun.