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 (news - web sites) and crippling knee and hip ailments.
Read more: Pope Rushed to Hospital With Flu Relapse