Oregon woman who got coronavirus aboard Diamond Princess cruise returns home

An Oregon woman who contracted coronavirus while on a cruise in Japan is back home – and urging calm while stressing the importance of isolation upon diagnosis.

Rebecca Frasure, 35, returned to her Forest Grove home on Tuesday after nearly two months on the 3,700-passenger, virus-ravaged Diamond Princess, a ship quarantined in February by Japanese authorities off the port of Yokahama for two weeks after 10 passengers were initially diagnosed.

Frasure then spent almost a month at a hospital in Tokyo, where she recovered from mild symptoms such as a light cough and a slight fever while in isolation – a difficult but vital aspect of the recovery process, she told The Oregonian.

“It prevented the spread,” Frasure told the newspaper. “It was no fun, for sure, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Frasure’s symptoms were so mild that she likely wouldn’t have been diagnosed had Japanese health officials not tested her for coronavirus. The most challenging part of her ordeal was being separated from her husband, Kent, who was quarantined on the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, she said.

Roughly 400 Americans were evacuated on chartered flights from the ship on Feb. 16, but Kent Frasure stayed behind with his wife, telling CNN that he wouldn’t get on a flight without his partner.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said at the time that 356 passengers had been diagnosed with COVID-19, including 46 hospitalized Americans like Rebecca Frasure. She was later discharged from a hospital after two consecutive tests determined she was no longer infected.

As one of the first known Americans to contract and recover from the deadly virus, Frasure is now stressing the importance of hygiene and for people to avoid public space when they’re sick – even with seemingly innocuous symptoms.

“You either approach it with fear, or you approach with courage,” Frasure said of her experience with coronavirus. “And, you know, fear is never the way to go.”

As of early Thursday, COVID-19 has sickened more than 127,800 people and killed at least 4,718 people worldwide, according to a New York Times database. The elderly and those with comprised immune systems are most susceptible to the bug. More than 1,200 cases have also been confirmed in the United States, along with 37 deaths, the newspaper reports, citing official tallies.

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