Mink remains hospitalized
with pneumonia

The chicken pox virus spread
to her lungs, a spokeswoman says

U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink remained seriously ill with no change in her condition yesterday, according to a spokeswoman.

Mink, 74, is being treated at Straub Hospital and Clinic for pneumonia resulting from chicken pox, according to her chief of staff, Joan Manke.

Her condition has changed little since she was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 31, Manke said.

The congresswoman is in the hospital's intensive care unit because chicken pox is contagious, she said.

The virus has reached Mink's lungs, she said.

Manke could not say if Mink was conscious and could not provide a prognosis. But she said, "It is my hope that she'll be back on her feet."

Mink is seeking re-election in the 2nd congressional district, which includes rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands. She faces Steve Tataii in the Sept. 21 primary election.

Mink has been in Honolulu since Congress recessed in August. She was scheduled to return to Washington earlier this week.

A Democrat, she is serving her 12th -- and 6th consecutive -- term in the House. She served from 1965 to 1977 and returned in 1990. Mink also served as a Honolulu councilwoman and an assistant secretary of state in the Carter administration.

Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus and spread through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include an itchy, red rash, sometimes accompanied by drowsiness and a fever.

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