White House Staffer Caught Flu in Mexico

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2009 3:46 PM CDT
White House Staffer Caught Flu in Mexico
President Barack Obama and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon prior to a state dinner at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.   (AP Photo)

An administration staffer who worked at a dinner President Obama attended during his trip to Mexico likely contracted the H1N1 virus there, the Washington Post reports. The unnamed Energy Department security worker has since transmitted the flu to his wife, son, and nephew, though he has been cleared of the infection. Neither Obama nor Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been diagnosed with the illness.

The staffer, who lives in suburban DC, “was asked specifically if he ever came within 6 feet of the president,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “The answer was ‘no.’” Though the worker fell ill in Mexico, he recovered the next day and returned to the US. The school his son attends was not closed, but was cleaned using Spectra 9, “the strongest disinfectant we have that’s nontoxic,” according to an official. (More President Obama stories.)

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