Pope Francis down with the flu, undergoes hospital checkup

By: Associated Press November 26,2023 - 09:55 AM

Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience, at the Vatican, November 22, 2023. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS [File Photo]

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience, at the Vatican, November 22, 2023. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

ROME — Pope Francis went to the hospital Saturday for tests after he came down with the flu, but the results ruled out any respiratory problems, the Vatican said.

Francis, who had part of one lung removed as a young man, underwent a CAT scan, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

The test at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, where Francis was treated for a respiratory infection earlier this year, was done to rule out any possible respiratory problems and came back negative, Bruni said in a statement.

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Earlier Saturday, the Vatican said the pope had canceled his audiences because of the flu.

Francis is due to travel on Friday to Dubai for the COP28 conference on climate change. Bruni provided no information about any change in his plans and the Vatican on Saturday gave new details about his itinerary, suggesting the trip was still on.

Francis, who will turn 87 next month, spent three days at Gemelli in April for what the Vatican said was bronchitis after he had trouble breathing. He was discharged after receiving intravenous antibiotics.

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Francis spent 10 days at the same hospital in July 2021 following intestinal surgery for a bowel narrowing. He was readmitted in June of this year for an operation to repair an abdominal hernia and remove scarring from previous surgeries.

When asked about his health in a recent interview, Francis quipped in reply what has become his standard line — “Still alive, you know.”

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TAGS: flu, Pope Francis

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