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Ex-Mayor Ed Koch hospitalized

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Former Mayor Ed Koch is feeling better after he was hospitalized for having fluid in his lungs and swollen ankles.

His spokesman George Arzt said Monday that the fluid and swelling were down. He says Koch told him he isn't in pain but that being in the hospital is boring.

He says doctors told Koch he would have to reduce his salt intake. Arzt said: "He loves salt."

The former mayor hopes to be discharged Wednesday or Thursday, but his doctors haven't said yet when he can go home.

This marks the former mayor's third hospitalization in the last five months. 

Koch, 88, was admitted Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.

According to the former mayor's longtime spokesman, Koch was at his regular Saturday lunch with his former aides when he started to look ill. Later that night while at dinner, a friend, who is a doctor, advised him to seek medical attention. 

"If he ate too much salt last night at dinner, it could be the extra amount that puts the final straw in the heart and it can't beat properly," said Dr. Steven Garner, Emergency Medicine Specialist. 

"If he didn't take his medications, it could cause the heart to beat less effectively and also build up with fluid, so basically when somebody builds up with fluid, we know that there's a problem with the heart." 

But Koch, who served three terms as mayor of New York City from 1978-1989, is reportedly in good spirits. 

Through his spokesman he quipped … "I could die – but not from this!" 

This is his third hospital visit the last five months. In September he was admitted with anemia and in December he spent several days at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital being treated for the flu. 

Outside the hospital in Washington Heights, New Yorkers offered well wishes for the former mayor. 

"I'm not that far in age from him, so I'm rooting for him," said Arthur Weisberg. 

"I definitely, think he will be OK. He's a string man and a great leader," said John Bisson. 

A spokesperson said Koch is hoping to be released as early as Wednesday.  

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