San Jose: Costa Rica`s President Oscar
Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and mediator of the Honduran
political crisis, has contracted swine flu, the government
"In the afternoon he was informed that he had contracted
the A(H1N1) influenza virus," said Rodrigo Arias, the
President`s brother and Chief of Staff.
The 67-year-old president, who was under medical care,
must remain isolated in his residence for at least seven days,
but will not delegate power during his absence, his brother
President Arias, a Nobel laureate who suffers from
chronic asthma, was said to have had flu-like symptoms for
some days, prompting medical tests.
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.
27 people have died as a result of the virus in
Costa Rica, and about 800 people have been infected.