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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Pope Rushed to Hospital

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 Pope Rushed to Hospital

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VATICAN CITY Feb 24, 2005 — Pope John Paul II was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance Thursday suffering from a relapse of the flu, a fever and congestion, the Vatican said, a day after the pontiff made his longest public appearance since being discharged from the clinic two weeks ago.

The 84-year-old pontiff had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis that sent him to Gemelli Polyclinic on Feb. 1, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity.

Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope was taken to the Rome hospital for "necessary specialized assistance and further tests." He was taken by ambulance at 10:45 a.m., officials said.

Vatican officials played down the seriousness of the hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope's age is always at risk from the flu. The pope also has Parkinson's disease and crippling knee and hip ailments.

But aides said on condition of anonymity that the pope had a fever, congestion and had suffered a relapse of breathing problems.


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