October 17, 2014 / 12:17 AM / 3 years ago

Brazil's Rousseff suffers dizzy spell after campaign debate

Brazil's presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff (R) of Workers Party (PT) talks with assessors during a debate in a television studio in Sao Paulo October 16, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

BRASILIA (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff had a dizzy spell that forced her to sit down during an interview on Thursday following a tense television debate in Brazil’s presidential election campaign, but she recovered immediately after drinking some water.

Looking flustered, Rousseff interrupted an interview, saying she was not feeling well and was helped to a seat by the reporter and was handed a glass of water.

Rousseff, 66, said it was low blood pressure that caused the momentary dizziness. She immediately stood up to finish the interview and left the television studio saying she felt fine.

In a grueling debate between the leftist incumbent and her pro-business challenger Aecio Neves ahead of the Oct. 26 election runoff, the candidates aggressively traded accusations of bad leadership, nepotism and corruption in their parties for one-and-a-half hours.

Concerns about Rousseff’s health first surfaced in 2009 when she was treated for lymphoma. She was given a clean bill of health after treatment for the cancer, but is reported also to suffer from diabetes, hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.

Her health became an issue again in May 2012 when she had a bout with pneumonia that involved a lengthy recovery.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Ken Wills

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