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Japanese man who visited Hawaii confirmed with coronavirus

HONOLULU — A man who visited Hawaii was confirmed to have coronavirus when he returned home to Japan, Hawaii officials said Friday.

Health officials were tracking down details about his travel in the Aloha State, including his flight information and people with whom he had close contact.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Hawaii about the man having the illness known as COVID-19 on Friday morning, Hawaii Health Director Bruce Anderson said.

The man was in Hawaii Jan. 28 to Feb. 7. He first visited the island of Maui, where he had no symptoms, Anderson said. He was on Oahu, the state’s most populated island, Feb. 3 to 7. While on Oahu, he had cold-like symptoms, but no fever, Anderson said

Because of when his symptoms began, officials believe he became infected in Japan or while in transit, said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist.

He is from Japan’s Aichi Prefecture was travelling with his wife and while on Oahu stayed a timeshare, Grand Waikikian By Hilton, officials said.

Japan has about 250 confirmed cases of the new disease that apparently started in Wuhan, a city in central China, in December.

Japan announced Thursday its first death from the virus, hours after confirming 44 more cases on a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo as fears of the spreading disease mount in the country.

So far, only 15 U.S. cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, and no deaths. All but two of the cases were in people who had travelled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the international outbreak. The remaining two were spread from travellers to their spouses.

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, The Associated Press