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Congress Warned to Take Swine Flu Precautions

The Capitol’s in-house doctor is admonishing Members of Congress and staff to take precautions against contracting and spreading the swine flu that is spreading across Mexico and the U.S.

Brian Monahan, the attending physician to Congress, warned lawmakers and staff in a Monday night e-mail of the “uncertainty and unpredictability— of infectious disease outbreaks and said the potential exists for the flu to “trigger a pandemic.—

Monahan advised offices to review their public health emergency plans and stay posted on developments in the flu scare. His office will be posting updates on its Web site at

The doctor said that healthy people should take preventive actions and that anyone feeling sick should take simple measures to limit the spread of the disease, including washing hands, covering coughs and staying home to minimize contact with others. People who discover symptoms while at work should go home, Monahan said.

“There is no vaccine available for swine influenza at this time,— he said.

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