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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was reportedly hospitalized Wednesday due to persistent hiccups — the latest health scare for the far-right leader who was stabbed in the stomach on the campaign trail in 2018.
Local media outlet Globo also reported that Bolsonaro had been admitted for tests at the military hospital in Brasilia after feeling abdominal pain early Wednesday.
“He is feeling good and doing well,” said a statement from his office.
In July 2020, Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 but recovered. In recent public appearances, he had a stubborn cough and, more recently, developed chronic hiccups, leading to concerns about his health.
Doctors interviewed by local media speculated that the condition may stem from medication he was administered in the past few days when he underwent surgery for dental implants, according to MercoPress.
“I’ve been hiccupping for a week, maybe I can’t express myself well in this life,” Bolsonaro said during a live broadcast Thursday, the news outlet reported.
On Monday, he was still hiccupping while he met with Supreme Federal Court Chief Justice Luiz Fux.
And on Tuesday night, he told supporters: “Guys, I’m speechless, folks. If I start talking a lot, the hiccup crisis returns. The hiccups are already back.”
Flavio Quilici, professor of gastroenterology at PUC Campinas, said the uncomfortable condition is related to the diaphragm, one of the main muscles in breathing.
“You remember the muscle between the chest and the abdomen, which is the diaphragm. When this diaphragm relaxes, it makes you throw the air up and the glottis, which is the passage that opens for the stomach or lungs, closes, and makes that very characteristic noise,” Quilici told G1, according to MercoPress.
He said that the persistence of the hiccups is very rare.
“Ten days is enough,” according to the doctor, who agreed that Bolsonaro’s surgery might indeed have been related to the hiccups.
“For him to stay so long, it can be an esophageal complication, which is reflux disease. And he also had a fact that is the abdominal surgery and, sometimes, the oral ones can lead to this stimulus,” Quilici added.
With Post wires
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