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Okinawa woman believed West Nile Fever victim

Date Posted: 2004-08-12

An Okinawa woman returning from a family vacation to the United States is believed to be the first West Nile Fever victim in Japan.

The 42-year-old woman is being tested for the disease, which the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare says they believe she has. They say they’ve detected genes which could match the virus.

The woman has been released from the hospital, as health officials say she cannot transmit the disease and infect anyone. She had been in California and New York, and developed symptoms while traveling. After reporting headaches, fever and vomiting, she was admitted to the hospital. Other family members had no symptoms.

Blood samples revealed the genes thought to be West Nile Fever, orperhaps Japanese encephalitis. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases is conducting a further investigation, and hopes to have results by early next week.

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