Published: 16/05/2009 at 05:57 AM

A Japanese student who has not been abroad recently has tested positive for swine flu in an initial examination, the government said Saturday. a health ministry spokesman said.

Japanese authorities are carrying out further genetic tests on samples taken from the male high school student, from Kobe in western Japan,

The patient, who has been coughing and running a temperature, tested positive in an initial genetic test conducted by local health authorities on Friday, the spokesman said.

“If it’s finally confirmed, it would be our country’s first domestic infection,” the spokesman told AFP.

Results of the second test are expected to be available later in the day.

The student has not travelled overseas but it wasn’t immediately clear whether he’d had contact with people visiting other countries recently, the spokesman said.

The student is isolated in hospital although his temperature is returning to normal, the spokesman added.

Earlier this month, Japan confirmed its first A(H1N1) cases — a school teacher and three students who arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport from North America.

Of the four patients, three were expected to be released from hospital near the airport Sunday after another round of flu tests. The other may be released from another hospital some time after Saturday, local media said.

Authorities ordered 48 people who had flown in from Detroit to be quarantined because they were close to the four infected passengers.

On Friday, 47 of the 48 people were cleared of the virus after spending a week quarantined in a hotel, while the remaining passenger is expected to be discharged as early as Saturday.