updated 9/20/2009 11:44:46 AM ET 2009-09-20T15:44:46

Thailand's 81-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-serving monarch, has been hospitalized after suffering from a fever and fatigue, the palace announced Sunday.

A statement from the Royal Household Bureau, read on the evening television news, said the king was taken to Siriraj Hospital on Saturday night on the advice of his doctors.

It said the monarch, who was also suffering from a loss of appetite, was being treated with a glucose drip and antibiotics while doctors diagnosed his illness.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters earlier that doctors said the king's health gave no cause for concern. Abhisit was one of a number of prominent people who visited the hospital Sunday to present their wishes for the king's recovery.

The king's health is an extremely sensitive topic in Thailand because of concerns that the succession may not go smoothly. The heir apparent, his son Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, does not yet have the stature or moral authority of his father.

In October 2007, the king suffered the symptoms of a minor stroke. Last year, he was unable to make his traditional annual birthday speech. His daughter, Princess Sirindhorn, said he was weak and suffering from bronchitis and inflammation of the esophagus.

The king is revered by most Thais, but in recent years the palace has come in for unprecedented, though usually discreet, criticism because of allegations that the king's advisers interfered in politics, including playing a part in inspiring a 2006 military coup that ousted a democratically elected government.

Open discussion of the matter is barred by strict lese majeste laws that make criticism of the monarchy punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

It had been rumored since late last week that the king had visited the hospital, but the Thai press only reported the matter widely Sunday.

Tables were set up at the hospital for people to convey their best wishes for the king's health on Sunday and Monday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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