5 Senate Pages Quarantined In Flu Scare

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Five Senate pages appear to have contracted the swine flu virus, and they have been quarantined from their peers and lawmakers, Sergeant at Arms Terrance W. Gainer announced Tuesday night.

Gainer, who oversees the page program, said in a memo to senators that the teenagers "are exhibiting 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."

The pages do not have confirmed cases, Gainer noted, because doctors have not tested them for the virus. "The test itself is uncomfortable and the results of the test will not alter the treatment plan," he said.

The pages are, as Gainer put it, "resting comfortably apart from their peers" in the Daniel Webster Page Residence. They will not be allowed to return to the Senate until the physician's office clears them, Gainer added. That clearance may not come before the end of their service: The Senate is scheduled to recess Aug. 7 for the remainder of the summer.

-- Shailagh Murray

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