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Capitol Hill Swine Flu Scare Continues

CORRECTION: This item originally misidentified David Cohen as the House sergeant at arms. Bill Livingood is the House sergeant at arms. The item has been corrected to reflect that Cohen is an aide to the sergeant at arms.

The swine flu scare on Capitol Hill continues, with House officials now on alert.

A day after the Senate sergeant at arms announced that five Senate pages may have contracted the H1N1 virus, the office of the House Sergeant at Arms on Wednesday evening sent out an e-mail urging caution.

David Cohen, an aide to House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood, wrote that the Office of the Attending Physician "has identified individuals with symptoms of influenza, and quite possibly, the H1N1 virus, within the Senate Page Program. The Office of the Attending Physician is closely monitoring the situation and if it changes, you will be informed."

He warned that experts expect a "strong return" of the virus in the fall and "practicing preparedness across the House community, prior to the outbreak of this infectious disease, can help mitigate its effects and facilitate a better overall response once an outbreak has occurred."

Cohen urged House members and staff to do exactly as President Obama advised the nation in his swine flu address several months ago: wash their hands frequently.

The House notice comes a day after five Senate pages appeared to have contracted a flu virus and were quarantined. Sergeant at Arms Terrance W. Gainer announced Tuesday night that the pages had "flu-like symptoms -- slightly elevated temperature, cough, and sore throats -- and the Office of Attending Physician believes that they most likely have influenza, quite possibly the H1N1 virus."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 29, 2009; 6:46 PM ET
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Hmmm...who will save us from this? The Government and President Obama or the private industry and Pfizer? Guess as of right now, we aren't protected at all.....


Posted by: joshuawdelano | July 29, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

A thread that's making it's way slowly through the "news" "media" (when it's not too busy speculating on Michael Jackson' death and other such bulletins) is that anyone who was alive in the late 60's (not sure if it's 1968 or 1969) is more resistant to Swine Flu than people 41 years old and younger, especially the very young.

Anecdotally, my wife had a horrible case of the flu when she was a teenager in the 60's. I wonder if it was a similar strain to the one out now?

But I guess it's more important to question the President's birth certificate than, I dunno, HAVE A SERIOUS DISCUSSION about something that can actually harm you?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 30, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This is getting serious. Remember young kids are the #1 spreaders of germs, and I know of a way to help keep them from doing just that. My daughter learned this great program at pre-school called Germy Wormy Germ Smart. It teaches kids to understand how germs spread and how to NOT spread them. The website speaks for itself:

Posted by: breehill9 | July 30, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: edtroyhampton | July 31, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The active ingredient in Tamiflu is oseltamivir. It is used for treating adults and adolescents suffering from influenza. Tamiflu helps patients whose flu symptoms are not more than two days (48 hours) old. Tamiflu is also used to reduce the chance of getting influenza in people because of infection. More information on Influenza treatment medication Tamiflu is available at

Posted by: Katie448 | August 1, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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