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Western Japan woman tests positive for coronavirus again weeks after hospital release

This photo shows the Osaka Prefectural Government headquarters in Osaka's Chuo Ward. (Mainichi/Yumi Shibamura)

OSAKA -- A woman in her 40s from this western Japan city who was found infected with the new coronavirus in January and was released from hospital on Feb. 1 after receiving treatment has again tested positive for the virus, the Osaka Prefectural Government announced on Feb. 26.

Prefectural officials said that the woman had served as a guide on a bus carrying tourists from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the center of the global coronavirus outbreak, earlier this year. Both she and the driver, from neighboring Nara Prefecture, were confirmed to be infected in January

When the woman was discharged from hospital on Feb. 1, she did not undergo a genetic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to determine whether the virus remained in her body, but she stayed at home, resting.

On Feb. 6, the woman developed a cough, and received a test for the virus the same day, but the result came back negative. On Feb. 19, she started complaining of discomfort in her throat and pain in her chest. The pain did not subside, so she took another test on Feb. 26, and her infection with the coronavirus was confirmed.

It remains unclear whether the woman was infected with the virus a second time, or whether it was not completely eliminated from her body the first time and flared up again.

(Japanese original by Masaki Ishikawa, Osaka City News Department)

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