(CNN) On Thursday, the office of California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein confirmed that she had experienced extensive health complications following her shingles diagnosis, contradicting the senator’s earlier denials.
A Feinstein spokeswoman said in a statement to CNN that “including Ramsey Hunt syndrome and encephalitis.”
The spokesperson added, “Although the encephalitis resolved itself shortly after his release from hospital in March, he continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome.”
Earlier Thursday, Feinstein told CNN that she didn’t have encephalitis, saying, “It’s not really been properly diagnosed.”
“It was a really bad flu,” Feinstein said, “and I’m doing great, thank you.”
It is rare for a Senate officeholder to be publicly at odds with its own senator.
Feinstein has been plagued by health questions for years, including her memory — The questions have intensified During his several months absence from the Senate and his recent return.
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain; It can be caused by many types of infections, but is known to be a rare complication from shingles. Ramsay Hunt syndrome can occur when shingles affects the facial nerve near an eye. According to the Mayo Clinic.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declined to comment Thursday when asked by CNN if he was aware of the additional diagnosis. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told CNN he was unaware of the additional illness.
The 89-year-old Democrat was recovering from singles at home in California and had been absent from the Hill since February before returning.
The New York Times First reported Feinstein suffered undisclosed complications following her shingles diagnosis, including encephalitis.
In a statement released by her office last week, Feinstein said she was “experiencing some side effects” from the singles and that her doctors had advised her to “work a lighter schedule” when she returned to the Senate.
CNN’s Christine Wilson, Nikki Robertson and Ted Barrett contributed