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article imageCosta Rican President Suffering from Swine Flu

By Chris Dade     Aug 11, 2009 in World
The Costa Rican government has issued a statement confirming that the country's President Oscar Arias has been taken ill with the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu.
Mr Arias first started to feel unwell at the weekend and underwent tests at his own request that revealed he had caught the virus which reportedly has already claimed 27 lives and infected 798 others in the Central American country.
Elected president in 2006, having served a previous term in that office between 1986 and 1990, 68-year-old Mr Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 in recognition of his work to end the conflicts and civil wars then taking place elsewhere in Central America. He has also been prominent in efforts to find a resolution to the Honduran crisis, meeting with both the deposed President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya and the man who led the coup which removed Mr Zelaya from power, Roberto Micheletti.
The National Post reports that Mr Arias, a sufferer from asthma, will be resting at home until after the weekend.
Along with Mexico and the U.S., Costa Rica will be one of the countries testing a vaccine against H1N1 that has been developed by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. A total of 784 Costa Ricans, varying in ages from 3 to 64, will take part in the testing.
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