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Pope Francis cancels audience due to a mild flu, Vatican announces

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Pope Francis has called off a scheduled audience for Saturday as a precautionary measure after experiencing a mild flu, as confirmed by the Vatican press office in a succinct statement, refraining from divulging further specifics.

The 87-year-old pontiff was set to convene with Rome deacons on Saturday morning, but this engagement was foregone due to his health condition. This recent cancellation follows previous instances in November when Francis had to curtail some of his activities due to respiratory issues. At that time, medical assessments ruled out any complications with his lungs, notwithstanding the fact that a portion of one lung was removed during his youth in his native Argentina.

In April of the preceding year, Pope Francis underwent a three-day hospitalization at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, officially attributed to bronchitis, with his discharge contingent upon receiving intravenous antibiotics. Additionally, his medical history includes a 10-day hospital stay in July 2021, stemming from intestinal surgery to address a bowel narrowing. Subsequently, in June 2023, he was readmitted for a procedure to mend an abdominal hernia and mitigate scarring from prior surgeries.

In a recent televised interview where inquiries regarding his delicate health arose, Pope Francis responded with his characteristic wit, jesting, “Still alive, you know.” Despite the lighthearted remark, his ongoing health concerns underscore the importance of vigilance and precautionary measures in managing his well-being amidst his extensive ecclesiastical responsibilities.

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