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Pope Francis Undergoes Precautionary Testing for Flu at Gemelli Hospital, Results Negative

Pope Francis underwent precautionary testing at Gemelli Isola Hospital in Rome on Saturday after being diagnosed with the flu earlier in the day, the Vatican reported. A CT scan was conducted in the early afternoon to rule out any potential pulmonary complications. The results were negative, and the Pope returned to Casa Santa Marta. The Vatican had previously announced the cancellation of the Pope’s scheduled morning meetings due to a mild flu, emphasizing that the decision was made as a preventive measure.

The Pope’s absence from his planned activities for the morning, including a meeting with the President of Guinea-Bissau, was noted in the Vatican’s noon bulletin. No further details have been disclosed about the Pope’s participation in upcoming events, such as the Angelus greeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Pope Francis, aged 86, is set to travel to the United Arab Emirates from December 1–3 for the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

This incident marks the second time this month that the Pope’s engagements have been affected by illness. On November 6, he had a cold and opted not to read his prepared remarks during an audience with Jewish rabbis from Europe. Despite this, he continued with his full schedule for the day, including a meeting with thousands of children from various countries.

In recent years, Pope Francis, who turns 87 next month, has faced several medical challenges. He underwent abdominal surgery in June and received treatment for bronchitis in late March. Despite these setbacks, he remains resilient, as seen in his lighthearted remark upon his April 1 release from the hospital, “I’m still alive, you know.”