Fed chair Yellen hospitalized over weekend, returning to work this week

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in Washington, DC.
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in Washington, DC.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was hospitalized over the weekend in London for treatment of a urinary tract infection, but has been discharged and is heading home.

Yellen, 70, was admitted on Friday (June 30)and released on Monday from King Edward VII Hospital, the central bank said in a statement on Monday. She is returning to Washington and expects to resume her schedule as planned this week, the Fed said.

Yellen was in London to speak at an event at the British Academy on June 27 and remained in the city for a brief vacation with her family.

The hospitalization is the second known health incident during her more than three years at the helm of the US central bank. In September 2015, Yellen required medical attention after struggling to finish a speech in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Fed later said she felt dehydrated at the end of the lengthy address and was seen by medical staff on site as a precaution. She continued on with her schedule that evening.

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Yellen's current term as chair ends Feb 3. President Donald Trump has not indicated whether he plans to re-appoint her for another four years, or nominate a successor.

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria growing in the bladder or urethra, most often in women. They are common, accounting for more than 8 million doctor visits in the US each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Symptoms, which include an urge to urinate, a burning sensation and blood in the urine, rarely cause long-term harm if they are treated quickly with antibiotics, though they can lead to kidney infection and other complications if left untreated. A deadly bloodstream infection known as sepsis can develop in rare conditions.