Kay Hagan recovering from encephalitis


Kay Hagan

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, of Greensboro, is recovering from encephalitis, her family said in a statement today.

Hagan, 63, fell ill in Washington, D.C., last month and was hospitalized there. This is the first time information about her condition has been released.

The following statements have been released:

“After being hospitalized in Washington, DC last month, Kay is now in Chapel Hill. She is recovering from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. While she is not fully responsive, her doctors have not seen anything that precludes her recovery, but recovery will be a long process. The Hagan family appreciates the outpouring of concern, support, and prayers they have received and thanks everyone in advance for respecting their privacy as Kay continues to recover.” – Family spokesperson

“We are grateful to have Kay back in North Carolina as she recovers. Thank you for your thoughts, your prayers, your kind gestures, and your concern. We all know how strong Kay is and we know she’s made stronger by the community she’s got supporting and rooting for her. Our family is deeply appreciative of every email, phone call, and letter we’ve received. We are optimistic for her recovery, but recognize that her recovery will be a long process.” – Hagan’s husband, Chip Hagan

“We are not certain at this time how Kay Hagan developed encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. The type of encephalitis she has is typically caused by a virus. Tests are still being run to determine what caused the infection, and these tests will provide us with more certainty about where and how she contracted this disease. Development of encephalitis from viral infection is a very rare event, occurring in a small percentage of people annually around the world. The symptoms of acute encephalitis can range from a headache to unresponsiveness, however, even patients with a prolonged period of poor responsiveness early in the disease, can slowly recover over a period of months.” – Hagan’s doctor, Dr. William Powers

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