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George H.W. Bush in ICU with fever

Former President George H.W. Bush in June. Bush has been in and out of the hospital in Houston since early November his spokesman said on December 26, 2012, and spent Christmas in the hospital with a rising fever.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO

Former President George H.W. Bush in June. Bush has been in and out of the hospital in Houston since early November his spokesman said on December 26, 2012, and spent Christmas in the hospital with a rising fever.

HOUSTON — Former president George H.W. Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital ‘‘following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever,’’ but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in Houston, said in an e-mail that Bush was admitted to the ICU at Methodist Hospital on Sunday. He said that doctors were cautiously optimistic about his treatment and that the former president ‘‘remains in guarded condition.’’

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No other details were released about his medical condition, but McGrath said Bush is surrounded by family. Bush has been hospitalized since mid-November.

Earlier Wednesday, McGrath said a fever that kept Bush in the hospital over Christmas had gotten worse and that doctors had put him on a liquids-only diet.

‘‘It’s an elevated fever, so it’s actually gone up in the last day or two,’’ McGrath said earlier in the day. ‘‘It’s a stubborn fever that won’t go away.’’ But he said the cough that initially brought the 88-year-old to the hospital has improved.

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