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Secretary of state faints, sustains concussion

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who skipped an overseas trip this past week because of a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after fainting, the State Department said Saturday.

The 65-year-old Clinton, who's expected to leave her job soon, was recovering at home after the incident last week and is being monitored by doctors, according to a statement by aide Philippe Reines.

No further details were immediately available.

President Barack Obama telephoned his top diplomat Saturday to wish her well, a White House official said.

The State Department said Clinton was dehydrated because of the virus, fainted and sustained a concussion. She will continue to work from home in the week ahead and looks forward to returning to the office "soon," the statement said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee said it won't hear from Clinton as planned at a Thursday hearing into the Sept. 11 attack against a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. The House Foreign Affairs Committee also said Clinton would no longer give scheduled testimony at its hearing Thursday on Libya.

Senior State Department officials William Burns and Thomas Nides are to take Clinton's place at both hearings.

Clinton's aides on Saturday informed the Senate committee chairman, Sen. John Kerry, about her health, and the Massachusetts Democrat "insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear" as planned, said Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth. Obama is expected to nominate Kerry to succeed Clinton.

Clinton backed out of a trip to North Africa and the Persian Gulf on Monday because she was sick. She caught the virus during a recent visit to Europe.

The former first lady is known for her grueling travel schedule and is the most traveled secretary of state, having visited 112 countries while in the job.

___

Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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