Queen Elizabeth Released From Hospital After Stomach Flu

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 4 2013 11:20 AM

Queen Elizabeth Released From Hospital After Stomach Flu

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Queen Elizabeth II leaves King Edward II Hospital after being admitted with symptoms of gastroenteritis at King Edward VII Hospital on March 4, 2013 in London, England.

Photo by Warrick Page/Getty Images

Let's take a break from Pope Watch 2013 to look at the latest news from another archaic ruling institution: Queen Elizabeth II was released from a London hospital today after being treated for a stomach infection. The 86-year-old was hospitalized this weekend with a bad case of gastroenteritis. She was supposed to stay two days, but walked out unassisted after one, the Associated Press reports.

Gastroenteritis, colloquially called the "stomach flu," is a nasty infection that's usually the result of a norovirus or food poisoning, according to the National Institutes of Health's U.S. National Library of Medicine. It's spread through contact with contaminated food, water, or people. Symptoms include "diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, fever and chills," and the infection can lead to dehydration, especially in the elderly and very young. Most people recover quickly, with no treatment.

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The queen, known for her strong health and Cal Ripken-like streak of attendance at official functions, was last hospitalized overnight a decade ago, for surgery on her right knee, according to the Telegraph. She canceled her engagements for this week while she recovers.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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