Governor Terry Branstad has been taken to a Des Moines hospital by ambulance.

Branstad’s spokesman says he “fell ill” at an event this morning due to a “seasonal illness.” Branstad was touring Du Pont Pioneer in Johnston at the time.

Branstad, who is 68 years old, held his weekly news conference early this morning at the statehouse. He was coughing and was quizzed by a reporter about his health. Branstad coughed and sniffed, then said: “I’ve got a bad cold and so does the lieutenant governor…We’ve had it off and on for some time, a couple of weeks or more.”

The governor’s spokesman says Branstad “is conscious and alert and was so during the transport to the hospital. During the transport, paramedics took the governor’s vitals and initial tests indicate that the spell was caused by a seasonal illness.”

Branstad, who had varicose vein surgery at the end of December, has a history of heart problems. He had a heart attack in December of 2000. Doctors inserted a stent in his heart to keep an artery open. In May of 2010 doctors found a partially-blocked artery in Branstad’s heart during a routine test and a second stent was inserted in the governor’s heart.