More than 300 US nationals who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess – a luxury liner which has been quarantined in Yokohama since Feb 5.
The 44 American tourists left behind were not flown home by the US government because they showed symptoms of the bug and will stay in hospitals in Japan, an official told The Washington Post.
According to the State Department, 14 of the evacuees confirmed they had the virus but were allowed to board the flight because they did not have symptoms.
They were being isolated separately in special containment boxes from other passengers on the flight, authorities said.
According to reports, the total number of people infected with the bug on the boat is 454 – which includes 99 new infections in recent days including 16 Americans.
One of two charter flights carrying the evacuated Americans landed at Travis Air Force Base in California at 2.30am local time this morning.
Another flight was headed to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono had tweeted earlier that troops helped transport 340 US passengers on 14 buses from Yokohama port to Tokyo’s Haneda airport.