HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a 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 a brief email that Bush was admitted Sunday to the ICU at Methodist Hospital. He said doctors are cautiously optimistic about his treatment and that the 41st president "remains in guarded condition."
No other details were released about his medical condition, but McGrath said Bush is surrounded by family. Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23.
Earlier Wednesday, McGrath said a fever that kept the 88-year-old 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. "It's a stubborn fever that won't go away."
But he said the bronchitis-like cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital has improved.
Bush 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 to arrive Wednesday from Bethesda, Md. Bush also was visited twice by his sons, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor.