Colombian Defense Minister Showing Signs of Swine Flu (Update1)
By Helen Murphy
Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva is showing symptoms of swine flu following a trip with President Alvaro Uribe, who is infected with the virus.
Silva began feeling ill with a fever this morning and has been isolated and is undergoing tests, according to a statement issued by the president’s office. Silva became sick after traveling with Uribe to Argentina for an Aug. 28 meeting of the 12-member Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR.
“The minister is following medical advice and continues to be in permanent communication and coordination with his team,” the statement said.
Uribe is undergoing treatment after tests showed yesterday that he is suffering from the H1N1 virus. He is showing “positive” improvements and working via computer, the statement said.
Colombia has given a health advisory to officials who attended the meeting in Argentina and who came into contact with Uribe.
Bolivian President Evo Morales is being treated with the Tamiflu antiviral drug as a precaution though he hasn’t shown any symptoms, daily newspaper La Razon reported, citing Eddy Martinez, head of the Health Ministry’s epidemiology department.
Uribe is the second Latin American president to come down with swine flu. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias was diagnosed earlier this month.
Trade Minister Guillermo Plata and General Freddy Padilla, head of Colombia’s armed forces, are also sick, RCN Radio reported separately. Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez has been examined in China, where he is on an official trip, after accompanying Uribe to Argentina, RCN reported.