Pope Francis hospitalized with pulmonary infection

Pope Francis will be hospitalized for several days as he undergoes treatment for a pulmonary infection, Vatican officials said Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

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Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that the 86-year-old pope had recently been experiencing difficulty breathing. He went Wednesday to Gemelli Hospital in Rome for a checkup, BBC News reported.

At the hospital, Francis underwent tests that showed he had a respiratory infection, Bruni said, according to the AP. Officials did not specify what infection the pope had, though Bruni said the tests determined he did not have COVID-19.

The infection “will require some days of medical therapy,” Bruni said.

In a statement obtained by Reuters, Vatican officials added, “Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer.”

Earlier, the pope attended his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

In recent months, Francis has been dealing with mobility issues related to his knee, according to BBC News. He has been using a cane or a wheelchair in public appearances since last year, The Guardian reported.

The pope also has diverticulitis, a condition that can cause inflammation of the colon, according to Reuters and the National Institutes of Health. In 2021, he underwent intestinal surgery in Rome.

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