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Czech President Is Hospitalized

February 12, 1998

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ Czech President Vaclav Havel was hospitalized Thursday for an apparent viral infection. Doctors considered minor surgery, the Health Ministry said.

It was the second time the 61-year-old president was hospitalized during the last four months. He underwent surgery for lung cancer in December 1996.

Doctors believe a small abcess in his throat _ which developed after he needed a tracheotomy following his lung cancer operation _ could be responsible for repeated bouts of bronchitis, said Miroslav Cerbak, the head of the panel of doctors treating Havel.

Havel was last in hospital for two weeks with pneumonia in November and afterward took a holiday on the Canary Islands.

He was narrowly re-elected president by Czech parliament Jan. 20.

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