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US congresswoman to begin rehab

The Houston medical centre treating Representative Gabrielle Giffords said the US congresswoman's condition has been upgraded from serious to good and she will be moved to a rehabilitation hospital today.

Memorial Hermann Hospital said that her doctors have determined she is ready to move to TIRR Memorial Hermann, another facility at the hospital where her rehabilitation will begin.

It said that transfer was scheduled for some time this morning, pending a review of her condition.

Ms Giffords had been kept in intensive care since her arrival at the Houston hospital from Tucson, Arizona, where she was critically injured in a January 8 shooting.

Doctors in Texas said she had been given a tube to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid.

Everyone makes such fluid, but an injury can cause the fluid to not be cleared away as rapidly as normal and a back-up can cause pressure and swelling within the brain.

Ms Giffords was shot in the forehead while meeting with constituents outside a Tucson supermarket during a rampage that killed six people and injured 12 others.

The suspect, Jared Loughner, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to assassinate the three-term Democratic congresswoman and two of her aides.

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