2 Hawaii residents on quarantined cruise ship off Japan contract coronavirus

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 6:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two Hawaii residents on a quarantined cruise ship off Japan have contracted the coronavirus, family members and officials said.

One of the patients is a 72-year-old woman who is also now being treated for pneumonia at a hospital, according to family members.

Her family did not want to be identified. But the woman’s son told Hawaii News Now he’s headed to Japan and is unsure if he’ll be able to see his mother or 84-year-old father, who is still on the ship.

So far, his father has shown no symptoms of the virus, he said.

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Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirms to Hawaii News Now that a second Hawaii resident on the ship has also contracted the coronavirus.

That patient is 70 years old and was also moved to a hospital. Green said the man is recovering.

The two are among at least six passengers on the ship who are believed to be from Hawaii.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship arrived in Yokohama on Feb. 3, and was quarantined a day later when Japanese authorities learned a man who got off the ship in Hong Kong tested positive for coronavirus.

Since then, 218 cruise passengers and crew members are confirmed to have contracted the virus, including the two from Hawaii.

Family members of the woman who fell ill told HNN that she’d been running a fever of around 101 degrees for several days but initially showed no other symptoms.

They say their father had to demand that ship authorities test her for the deadly virus.

By the time they were finally able to confirm she had contracted it, she was already starting to show signs of respiratory illness, including difficulty breathing.

They say they don’t quite understand how their 84-year-old father has not gotten ill given the extremely tight living quarters of the cruise ship cabin. However, they expressed enormous gratitude for U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, who have helped them get information.

Meanwhile, authorities stress that there have been no cases of coronavirus in Hawaii. One person remains in mandatory quarantine at Pearl Harbor, while dozens more are undergoing monitoring.

This story will be updated.

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