Eight more Americans from a quarantined cruise ship off Japan have been confirmed to have the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of U.S. citizens diagnosed on the vessel to 11, the operator said Friday.
One of them, Rebecca Frasure from Oregon, spoke to NBC News shortly after receiving her test results and as she waited to be airlifted to a Japanese hospital.
There are currently 12 diagnosed cases of the virus in the continental United States.
Princess Cruises announced 41 new cases of the virus on board the vessel Friday, of whom eight are Americans, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 61. Most are Japanese citizens.
The 20 previous cases, including three Americans, were discovered in earlier batches of testing this week and the individuals were escorted off the ship. The vessel is quarantined off Yokohama, south of Tokyo, and has around 3,700 passengers and crew on board.
Frasure, 35, said she was worried about heading to the hospital alone, as her husband, Kent, had tested negative and had to stay on the ship.
“They just told me that they will need to keep me in the hospital for at least three days for treatment, and then if I get better, then I will come back to the ship to finish up the quarantine in my cabin,” she said.
Frasure said she had been shocked to receive the positive test results, and did not remember coming into contact with anyone sick. Besides, she didn’t particularly feel unwell.
The global death toll from the coronavirus has risen to at least 638, compared to 565 two days ago, and confirmed cases have reached more than 31,000 on mainland China, compared to 28,000 Wednesday.
On board the ship, the alarm was raised after a former passenger tested positive.
Passengers on the Diamond Princess said they were first told they would have to stay in their rooms Wednesday, and that the crew had recently started bringing people out to the deck to get some fresh air and stretch their legs — prioritizing those without balconies.
Susan Archer from Marysville, Washington, said people had been quarantined to their rooms for 14 days and the reality of that was “starting to hit.”
“It’s kind of like a survivor show in a way,” she said, adding that people had been really sanitary on the ship.
“I’m not worried at this point, but I don’t like the solitary confinement,” she said. “That is not a fun thing but I understand the necessity of it.”