Monday, August 17, 2009

Costa Rican leader Arias recovers from swine flu

San Jose, Costa Rica, (Reuters) - Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has recovered from a bout of H1N1 swine flu and will return to his normal routine on Tuesday, his office said on Monday.

"He's not coming to work today but will come tomorrow," Manuel Morales, a spokesman for the Costa Rican presidency, said.

Arias, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987, has been working from his home since contracting a mild case of the swine flu more than a week ago.

The Costa Rican president, 68, was the first head of state known to be infected with the H1N1 virus, which has spread around the world since April and could eventually affect 2 billion people, according to global health authorities.

Arias had been considered a higher-risk case because he also suffers from asthma. While most cases of H1N1 worldwide have not been serious, people with other illnesses may be more likely to suffer severe effects from the virus.

Last month, Arias brokered talks to try to resolve the political crisis in Honduras, where a de facto government unrecognized by most of the world has been holding power since the army ousted President Manuel Zelaya in a June 28 coup.

Negotiations broke down three weeks ago over whether the interim leadership would let Zelaya return to power.

(Editing by Will Dunham)

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