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'Recovered' Coronavirus Patient Tests Positive Again

Saudi Arabia ban infuriates pilgrims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2020 8:03 AM CST

(Newser) – A Japanese woman thought to have recovered from the coronavirus has tested positive again, raising yet more concerns about the spread of the virus. The woman, a tour bus guide in Osaka, was first diagnosed in late January and was released from the hospital on Feb. 1, authorities say. This is the first known case of a recurring COVID-19 infection in Japan, though there have been a few similar cases in China, reports Reuters. "Once you have the infection, it could remain dormant and with minimal symptoms, and then you can get an exacerbation if it finds its way into the lungs," says Philip Tierno Jr., a professor at NYU's School of Medicine. He says it is possible that the disease "is bi-phasic, like anthrax." In other developments:

  • Saudis ban pilgrims. In an apparently unprecedented step, Saudi Arabia has banned foreign pilgrims from entering the country in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, the AP reports. Islam requires the faithful to visit Mecca at least once in their lives, and authorities at Cairo's international airport say there was "intense confusion" and "extreme anger" among passengers waiting for flights when news of the ban broke.

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