Experts: Weakness and Parkinson's Are Bigger Threat Than Flu

Health Experts: Weakness and Parkinson's are bigger threat than flu

Experts say the main threat to the pope's health now is what brought him to the hospital in the first place -- frailty made worse by Parkinson's disease. Pope John Paul still faces infection or other complications from yesterday's tracheotomy. But experts say his general weakness is what made him vulnerable to the breathing difficulties that made that operation necessary. One medical professor says the pontiff is "clearly somebody who can get ill very easily because of his Parkinson's and his inability to cough" -- adding that he's "fragile, to say the least." Even if the breathing tube stays in, the pope will likely be able to talk in about a week, after doctors switch to a tube with a speaking valve.