Health Care

Vatican says pope’s health improving after hospitalization for respiratory infection

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Pope Francis’s health is improving after he was hospitalized for a respiratory infection Wednesday, the Vatican said Thursday.

Vatican News, the Holy See’s official news service, reported that Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said the pope’s “clinical picture is progressively improving and he is continuing with his planned treatment.” Bruni also noted that the pope slept well during the night and that Thursday morning, he read some newspapers and resumed work after breakfast.

“Before lunch, he went to the little chapel in the private apartment, where he gathered in prayer and received the Eucharist,” the statement added, according to The Associated Press.

The pontiff, 86, was hospitalized at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome on Wednesday after he experienced “respiratory difficulties.” He is expected to be hospitalized for a few days, just ahead of the Vatican’s Holy Week observances held before Easter, including Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil on Saturday night and Easter Sunday on April 9.

This is his first hospitalization since he spent 10 days in the hospital in July 2021 to have 13 inches of his colon removed. When he was young, he also had part of a lung removed due to a respiratory infection.

The pope’s Twitter account posted that he is “touched” by messages he received amid news of his hospitalization.

“I am touched by the many messages received in these hours and I express my gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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