French police: Irish ex-PM in swine flu scare

9th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Ireland's former prime minister Garrett Fitzgerald is among about 20 Irish nationals who have been quarantined at a French chateau over fears of a swine flu outbreak

Lyon - Ireland's former prime minister Garrett Fitzgerald is among about 20 Irish nationals who have been quarantined at a French chateau over fears of a swine flu outbreak, French police said Saturday.

A village doctor in the central Auvergne region recommended the precautionary measure after a young couple from the chateau consulted him, complaining of flu-like symptoms.

"The state of health of the persons concerned are no cause for concern, and only one elderly, fragile person was issued with Tamiflu by precaution," said Jean-Pierre Maurice, the deputy prefect for the Vichy district.

The results of tests to see if this was indeed an outbreak of the A(H1N1) virus would be known on Monday, he added.

"It was a big drama this morning, but in the end, it's nothing much," Mary Fitzgerald, the politician's daughter, told AFP.

"We understand that there are precautions, procedures to respect at this time and we mustn't get upset over nothing," she added.

Friends and relatives of Garrett Fitzgerald are keeping to Ludaix chateau, at Marcillat en Combrailles in the Allier region, which they have been renting since the beginning of the month.

The chateau includes several acres of parkland, a heated swimming pool and an library.

Garrett Fitzgerald, now 83, served as Irish prime minister, or Taoiseach, from 1981 to 1987.

AFP / Expatica

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