(KTXL) -- A Sacramento woman who was one of the passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise in Japan tested positive for the new coronavirus and has since been cleared and released from the hospital.
One month ago, 28-year-old Karen left her Sacramento home for a cruise line adventure in Japan with her parents.
“It was enjoyable up until the quarantine,” Karen, who chose not to reveal her last name, told FOX40.
A few days into her stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, passengers began coming down with the COVID-19 virus. But orders to quarantine did not stop the virus from spreading rapidly through the ship.
“I’m pretty sure everyone started thinking is it me next? Because the numbers just kept climbing and climbing every day,” Karen said.
And Karen was next.
“It was about four days into the quarantine, I reported a high temperature and some quarantine people came in to take my throat swab,” Karen recalled. “And three days later, they told me I'm going to be shipped to a hospital.”
Off the cruise ship and into a hospital bed in Japan. Karen would spend 11 lonely days in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.
She said she is grateful to the medical staff who monitored her condition and kept her comfortable.
“It was just monitoring. In the morning, they would come check my temperature, I took a few blood tests,” Karen explained. “And in the evening, they would check my temperature again.”
After a week and a half of care, Karen’s health showed signs of improvement. She eventually tested negative for the virus and was released.
But she said other cruise ship passengers were not as fortunate.
“I got lucky enough to not have any symptoms at all with the virus other than the high temperature and testing positive,” she told FOX40. “But there are other people in Japan that were on the ship that are in critical condition or serious condition that are in much worse shape than me, and my heart goes out to them.”
From a cruise ship to a hospital to a hotel room, where Karen has been patiently waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give her the green light to come back home to the U.S.
“I just want to go home, go back to work and see all my friends," she said. "I'd like to have a hamburger and some barbecue. And that's really all I want.”
The 28-year-old said she was in good health before traveling to Japan and credits her active lifestyle for being able to fight the virus so quickly.
Both of her parents, who are in their late 50s, tested negative for the virus.