Flu-stricken Pope lies low
Pope John Paul II has influenza, forcing him to cancel scheduled audiences for health reasons for the first time in more than a year, his spokesman has said.
The 84 year old came down with the illness on Sunday and doctors advised that he cut back on his activities, according to Dr Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
"He has joined the more than a million Italians who have come down with the flu," Navarro-Valls told The Associated Press.
Asked by Vatican Radio if it was a mild case, Navarro-Valls said "of course," adding that symptoms were evident during his regular noon appearance Sunday in his apartment window overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Navarro-Valls expressed caution, however, about when John Paul would resume his regular activities.
"We'll see," he told the radio. "As always with influenza, it is a day-to-day question."
There appeared to be no particular alarm in the Vatican City enclave. Officials went about business as usual while Vatican Radio was quick to issue its reassuring report.
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32 Feb 2005