PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson was in a Sioux Falls hospital on Monday after being admitted with a fever that might have been caused by a reaction to an antibiotic, his staff announced.
Johnson, 63, was in stable condition and doing well after being admitted on Sunday, but doctors were keeping the Democrat in the hospital on Monday night for continued observation and tests, said Julianne Fisher, the senator's communications director.
"He had a fever. That was why he went into the hospital. It was a high fever," Fisher said. "They're doing testing because they want to make sure everything is OK."
Dr. Scott Beckstrand of Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center said doctors are doing a full investigation, but they suspect the fever was caused by a reaction to medicine and was not related to the brain hemorrhage Johnson suffered in December 2006.
The senator underwent emergency surgery for the life-threatening bleeding caused by veins and blood vessels that grew tangled and burst. After speech and physical therapy, he returned to the Senate in September 2007 and won re-election to a third Senate term in 2008.
Johnson was scheduled to visit the Pierre area on Monday to check out stimulus-funded work that made the Stanley County courthouse in Fort Pierre more energy efficient. That appearance was canceled before his office announced he was in the hospital.
In a written statement, Johnson said: "Trust me, I would rather be in Pierre today. I'm glad to be back home in South Dakota and on the mend soon."
Fisher said Johnson's wife, Barbara, and his son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, were at the hospital with the senator.
"He's alert," Fisher said of the senator.
"I think this is just a matter of doctors are being very cautious in looking through everything and want to figure out what's going on," Fisher said.