The swine flu outbreak could be hitting close to home for the Obama administration, spokesman Robert Gibbs disclosed this afternoon.
A member of the advance team for President Obama's trip earlier this month to Mexico has flu-like symptoms, but others in the delegation are fine and without any symptoms.
The staffer never flew on Air Force One, and though he was at a working dinner attended by Obama, never came within six feet of the president, Gibbs said.
Gibbs said the security staffer for Energy Secretary Stephen Chu arrived in Mexico on April 13, began to feel ill on April 16, returned to the United States on April 18, and returned to work at the department on April 20.
Three family members have since come down with the flu, and tested probable for the new swine flu virus on April 28, Gibbs said. They "suffered mild to moderate symptoms, received no medication, were not hospitalized, and have recovered," he said.
The Centers for Disease Control is conducting further tests. Gibbs said the staffer did not test positive, but probably because so much time had elapsed. He has recovered and has been cleared by doctors to return to work, Gibbs said.
Neither Obama nor Chu has had any flu symptoms, Gibbs said. And given how much time has passed from the Mexico trip, it's "highly, highly, highly unlikely" that anyone in the US delegation was infected, Gibbs said.
It's the second flu scare from the Mexico trip. Earlier this week, the White House had to quell speculation because a Mexican official who shook hands with Obama died. The White House issued a statement from the Mexican embassy saying that the official did not die of swine flu.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.