George H.W. Bush Hospitalized With Bronchitis: Condition Not Life-Threatening

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(Photo: AP / David J. Phillip)Former president George H.W. Bush rings a bell for the Salvation Army Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, in Houston. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush manned a kettle outside a popular Houston furniture retailer to promote volunteerism and raise money for the Salvation Army's 2006 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign.

Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized with bad cough and bronchitis, according to reports out Thursday. His condition is said to be non-life threatening.

Bush is said likely be in the hospital for at least a week as he recovers. He was admitted for treatment after suffering from a persistent cough, although his condition is not thought to be too serious and is not a threat to his life.

Bush chief of staff Jean Becker told the Houston Chronicle that the 88 year old former president was hospitalized with the following message:

"President Bush is in the hospital. We have kept this quiet out of respect for him."

She added: "His big problem is a chronic cough he can't get rid of so he's back at Methodist (Hospital). This is not a life-threatening illness."

The Chronicle has reported regarding the incident that Becker had informed, "Bush has been in and out of Methodist Hospital for a few weeks, and was most recently admitted the day after Thanksgiving. He was visited there Sunday by his son, former president George W. Bush, and his wife, Laura."

According to the publication Becker also added that there were initially concerns that the cough could turn into pneumonia, which could have been much more serious, however, it turns out that this was not the case.

Becker has confirmed, "Bush is expected to be released this weekend."

George H.W. Bush was vice president for two terms under President Ronald Reagan, before serving himself as president from 1989-1993.