Report: Pope Francis taken to Rome hospital suffering from flu; back at Vatican

Pope Francis has been ill in recent months.

Pope Francis has been taken to a hospital in Rome for a check-up, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Wednesday, but has since returned to the Vatican, officials there said.

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“The examination was negative and the Pope returned to Casa Santa Marta,” according to the Vatican’s Telegram channel.

According to Reuters, the 87-year-old pontiff skipped a reading at his Wednesday weekly audience, telling those gathered he was still not well.

Earlier on Wednesday, the pope was pushed in a wheelchair into the audience hall at the Vatican, appearing weary as he dropped heavily into his seat, The Associated Press reported. In recent weeks, he has walked the short distance to his chair.

The Vatican called the illness “a mild flu” and reported he had canceled appointments on Saturday and Monday.

Francis had part of a lung removed when he was younger and has suffered from some respiratory issues recently.

In April, he spent three days at the Gemelli Hospital for what the Vatican said was bronchitis. He was discharged after receiving intravenous antibiotics.

In late November, he suffered breathing problems causing him to cancel an international trip. A scan at the time ruled out lung complications.

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