Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media: outraged and outrageous on immigration

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

How do migrants affect the labour market?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Children in cages: What drives Trump's family separation policy?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

NATO chief hails strength of transatlantic bond on defence

Read more

FOCUS

Japan rejects 99% of asylum applications

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Sextape', 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties', 'Looking for Teddy'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

World Refugee Day: The story of a French mother who took in an Afghan refugee

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Khaled Diab: Debunking myths about Islam

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Australian female comedian's murder sparks soul-searching about women's safety

Read more

Americas

President Arias has contracted Influenza A (H1N1)

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-12

Costa Rican president and Nobel laureate Oscar Arias says he has tested positive for swine flu, in proof that "the pandemic doesn't discriminate". He is to remain in isolation for seven days.

AFP- Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and mediator in the Honduran political crisis, said on Tuesday he had contracted swine flu.

"The pandemic doesn't discriminate," Arias said in a statement. "I am one more case in the country, and I am subject to the same recommendations that the health authorities have established for all the population."

The 67-year-old's brother and chief of staff, Rodrigo Arias, earlier told a shocked nation that the president must remain isolated at home for at least seven days, but will not delegate power during his absence.

President Arias, a Nobel laureate who suffers from chronic asthma, was said to have had flu-like symptoms for some days, prompting medical tests.

"After feeling a sore throat, headache and temperature, the president asked for a test and today (Tuesday) they confirmed he had contracted the A(H1N1) influenza virus," said Rodrigo Arias.

The veteran leader has recently been spearheading international efforts to resolve the crisis in Honduras, meeting rival factions who have clashed since President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military-backed coup in June.

Mayi Antillon, a spokeswoman for the Costa Rican government, said Arias would continue to work from home.

"He does not want to deceive the population," she said explaining the decision to make his illness public.

Arias first became president in 1986.

During his first four-year term he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating peace accords which helped bring an end to Central America's many military conflicts.

After a 16-year absence from the presidential palace, he began a second term in office in 2006.

He has been thrust back into the international spotlight through his mediation in Honduras, meeting many of the main players in the Western Hemisphere.

He has produced a plan calling for Zelaya's return to office and early elections, proposals that have so far been rejected by the interim government.

His current term expires on May 8, 2010.

Twenty-seven people have died as a result of the virus in Costa Rica, and about 800 people have been infected.
 

Date created : 2009-08-12