Spokesman: George H.W. Bush's fever is rising

5:14 PM, Dec 26, 2012   |    comments
Former President George H.W. Bush on hand on Salute To Service day before the Houston Texans play the Buffalo Bills at Reliant Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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HOUSTON (USA Today) -- Former president George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized in Houston last month with a bronchitis-like cough, has been put on a liquids-only diet because of a "stubborn" fever that has worsened in recent days, according to his spokesman.

Jim McGrath tells the Associated Press that doctors at the Methodist Hospital have been treating the fever with Tylenol but have not determined why it has "elevated" in recent days.

Doctors had earlier said they had hoped to discharge the 41st president by Christmas Day.

At the same time, McGrath said, the nagging cough that landed the 88-year-old former president in the hospital has improved. He coughs only about once a day, McGrath said.

Bush was initially hospitalized Nov. 7, then released, but returned on Nov. 23.

Bush, who lives in Houston in the winter and at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in the summer, was visited on Christmas by his wife, Barbara, his son, Neil, and Neil's wife, Maria, and a grandson, McGrath said.

Bush's daughter, Dorothy, was scheduled to arrive Wednesday from Bethesda, Md.

The former president has also been visited twice by his sons, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.

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