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Gov. Otter returns to work, describes illness

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has released audio clips explaining his recent illness and hospitalization, which ended when he was released from St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center yesterday. He was back at work at his office for a few hours today, then returned home as his doctor has cautioned him not to  “over-do it.” The governor’s office reports that Otter will remain on antibiotics into next week, but his schedule will slowly return to normal over the course of the next few days.

He said he started feeling ill on Saturday night, after a day spent helping brand cattle on Lt. Gov. Brad Little’s ranch in Gem County, and then he felt worse on Sunday. On Monday, he went to his doctor. Here’s the first clip and its transcript:  “He ran some tests and he said, ‘You are really badly dehydrated, really badly dehydrated. And I am not sure what this is, but I think I am going to put you in the hospital and run some tests, and give you some IVs to hydrate you.’ “

Otter said he first thought he was suffering some form of heat stroke from the day working out at Little’s ranch. Here’s the second audio clip and its transcript: “So I then thought maybe it is heat fatigue …because I wasn’t to the point where I comatose.  I wasn’t to the point where, you know, I was sleeping, but, you know, I would wake up and then I would be sweating. So finally Monday morning we just said let’s go the hospital, or let’s go to the doctor.”

Otter said his only symptoms were fever, sweats, fatigue, and dehydration. While in the hospital he was treated with antibiotics and began responding to that treatment.  He said his doctor said the illness could have been caused by a variety of bacteria. Here’s the final audio clip and transcript: “It could have been one of several of these bacteria that actually started expressing themselves with the fever and the resulting sweating, and my body fighting that.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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