US Senator Dianne Feinstein, a trailblazer for women in American politics who recently announced she will not seek re-election in 2024, said on Thursday she was receiving treatment for shingles in a California hospital.
Feinstein was diagnosed with the virus in February and is expected to make a full recovery, she said in an emailed statement shared by her office.
First elected to the Senate in 1992, Feinstein is the oldest member of Congress at 89.
"I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery. I hope to return to the Senate later this month," the senator said.
Shingles typically develops in older adults who had chickenpox, or the varicella-zoster virus, when younger. Its hallmark is a painful rash that clears up within a month in most cases, but could sometimes lead to nerve pain that can linger for longer.
Feinstein's absence from the Senate, coupled with Democratic Senator John Fetterman's hospitalization for clinical depression, temporarily deprives the Democrats of their outright majority in the chamber. In their absence, Democrats and Republicans each have 49 seats in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris available to break ties.
Fetterman, who flipped a Republican-held seat in last November's midterm elections, is doing well and remains on a path to recovery, his office said on Monday.
Feinstein was the first woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco, the first woman to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee and now the longest-serving female senator.