Six Senate Pages Come Down With 'Flu-Like Symptoms'

WASHINGTON -- Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer, the top administrative official for the chamber, says that six teenage Senate pages have "turned up with flu-like symptoms," and the cause is "quite possibly the H1N1 virus."

Gainer described the symptoms as "mild," including a runny nose and a sore throat. He indicated that there was "no panic" in the Senate.

At this stage, doctors do not test to determine whether it is the H1N1 flu, Gainer said, adding that's consistent with national policy.

Four of the pages are roommates and have been restricted to their dorm room on Capitol Hill. The other two reside in metropolitan Washington and are commuters. Those pages have been advised to stay home.

Pages are high school students who come to Washington to study and work with House and Senate members. They run errands for lawmakers and learn about the legislative process. They also live together in government residences near the U.S. Capitol.

There are distinct House and Senate page programs. The House Clerk's office says it was informed of the incident with the Senate pages, but no House pages are affected.

The House Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday to assess efforts to prepare for pandemic flu and to review the responses to H1N1 outbreaks.