Costa Rican President Oscar Arias on Tuesday confirmed that he was infected with influenza A/H1N1.
Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias walks in his residence after a meeting with Spanish Vice President Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, Ibero-American General Secretary Enrique Iglesias and Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Jose Miguel Insulza in San Jose in this file picture taken Aug. 3, 2009. Arias is suffering from the H1N1 virus, the government said on Aug. 11, 2009, making him the first head of state known to have contracted swine flu.[Xinhua/Reuters Photo]
Arias, 68, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, suffers a mild case of the virus for which he tested positive on Tuesday, the government said earlier.
The president confirmed it in a statement, saying that apart from fever and a soar throat, he felt well and was in good shape to carry out some of his work by telecommuting.
Arias will remain isolated at home. "The epidemic does not discriminate. I am subject to the same recommendations the health authorities have for all the people," he said in the statement.
Arias said he expected to return to full duties on Monday. For the moment, some of his duties have been assigned to cabinet ministers.
Arias first became president in 1986. After a 16-year absence from the presidential palace, he was reelected president in 2006. His current term expires on May 8, 2010.
According to a latest report from the Costa Rican health authorities, 27 patients have died from A/H1N1 flu and 798 were infected with the disease in the country.
(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2009)