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."
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