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Obama has no flu symptoms after Mexico visit

The president met with a museum director who died a week later of pneumonia. But officials say that man did not have swine flu. Restraint is advised for those considering seeking a flu test.

April 27, 2009|Jim Tankersley

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that President Obama had shown no flu symptoms since returning from Mexico, where he stopped April 16-17 on his way to a regional economic summit.

"The doctors advised us that the president's health was never in any danger," Gibbs said.

Obama met in Mexico City with the director of the National Museum of Anthropology, who died a week later. According to Mexico health officials, the museum official had a preexisting condition and died of pneumonia, not swine flu.

The swine flu has an incubation period of 24 to 48 hours, Gibbs said, meaning Obama would have shown symptoms long ago if he had contracted the disease.

Because he did not show symptoms, Gibbs said, Obama has not been tested for the flu -- the same restraint that the government advises for all Americans.

"In the absence of symptoms, you shouldn't go get tested," Gibbs said. "That's going to crowd any sort of either public health or private health infrastructure. If you are sick or you do have symptoms, then you should take precautions."

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jtankersley@latimes.com

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