VATICAN CITY — After having difficulty breathing, Pope Francis went to Rome’s Gemelli hospital March 29 where he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection that will be treated in the hospital for several days, the Vatican press office said.
In the past few days, the statement said, “Pope Francis complained of some respiratory difficulties and this afternoon he went to Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic for some medical tests. The outcome of these showed a respiratory infection — a COVID-19 infection was excluded — that will require several days of appropriate medical treatment in the hospital. Pope Francis is touched by the many messages he’s received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” the press office said.
In a late January interview with the Associated Press, Pope Francis had said that the diverticulitis, or bulges in his intestinal wall, had “returned,” but he insisted he was in good health for his age, which is 86.
Pope Francis spent 10 days in Gemelli hospital in July 2021 after undergoing a three-hour surgery that included a left hemicolectomy, which is the removal of the descending part of the colon, a surgery that can be recommended to treat diverticulitis.