Health & Science

Pasco man remains in hospital; swine flu unconfirmed

A Pasco man remained quarantined in a Denver hospital Thursday, but it was still unconfirmed whether he was suffering from the swine flu.

Juventino Hernandez, 62, of Pasco, was admitted to a Denver hospital this week on his way back from Mexico. He didn't make it to Pasco, but went to the hospital after he landed in Denver for a connecting flight.

Hernandez had gone to the U.S. consulate in Juarez, Mexico, to support his wife's application for permanent residency in the United States. They had been living in Pasco, where he suffered from a number of health problems.

Family members told immigration lawyers for Hernandez and his wife, Maria Napoles Bernal, that he developed symptoms of the H1N1 flu while on the trip.

One of the lawyers, Kripa Upadhyay, said she spoke to Hernandez by phone Thursday.

"He was on morphine, so I wasn't able to speak to him for long," she said. "He complained about a lot of pain last night, I understand, and the nurses gave him morphine last night. They gave him another shot this morning."

Napoles Bernal still is in Mexico, her application to re-enter the United States denied. The law firm hasn't been able to reach her, and Upadhyay said she doesn't know whether Napoles Bernal even knows about her husband's current condition.

Because of the flu in Mexico, the U.S. embassy and consulates on Thursday suspended operations and canceled all appointments until May 11. People who had immigration interviews were told not to show up and to wait to be contacted.

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