Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to hospital after having hiccups for more than 10 days. The 66-year-old complained of abdominal pain caused by the ongoing hiccups and was taken to a military hospital in the early hours of July 14.
Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm and when the contraction occurs, it closes your vocal cords. If hiccups last more than two days, they are ‘persistent’, or ‘intractable’ if they last for over a month.
Despite feeling unwell, Bolsonaro is allegedly in ‘good spirits’ and will remain in hospital for two days under observation. Tests will be carried out to try and determine what has caused the hiccups to persist for so long.
Bolsonaro recently struggled to speak during an interview, where he apologised for his hiccups. He said while on Radio Guaiba on July 7, ‘I apologise to everyone who is listening to me, because I’ve been hiccupping for five days now. I have had the hiccups 24 hours a day.’
He then apologised the next day whilst hiccupping throughout his weekly Facebook Live stream. Prior to hospitalisation, Bolsonaro suggested that his hiccups could be down to the suggested medication prescribed by a dental surgery earlier this month.
Doctors have also speculated whether his hiccups are a result of repeated abdomen surgery. The president was stabbed in 2019, leaving him grievously injured and having to undergo numerous surgeries.
As per Heathline, persistent hiccups can be a result of health conditions that affect nerve signalling to the diaphragm, causing it to contract regularly. This can be caused by nerve damage or changes in nerve signalling. However, there are many conditions associated with hiccups.