MR. GAITSKELL RETURNS TO HOSPITAL
LUNG INFECTION “SERIOUS”
A statement from Mr. Hugh Gaitskell's doctors last night said: “Mr. Gaitskell has been admitted to the Middlesex Hospital with a recurrence of a virus infection involving the bases of the lung, causing pleurisy and pericarditis.
“The condition, although serious, is not giving rise to immediate anxiety.” A Labour Party spokesman who issued the statement said that a further bulletin would be issued this morning.
Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the smooth membrane which surrounds the heart. Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleura, the membrane which covers the lung.
Mr. Gaitskell was treated at the Manor House Hospital before Christmas, but left on December 23 to spend the holiday with his family at home in Hampstead.
There was no indication last night how long Mr. Gaitskell would stay in hospital, but in Labour circles it was thought that on recovery he might be advised to take a holiday in the sun. He has already postponed a visit to Moscow and Mr George Brown is deputizing for him in a tour of unemployment areas.