Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is showing “steady improvement” during his treatment for a lung infection, his doctors have said.
The 86-year-old was taken to Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital after suffering breathing problems last Wednesday, and is being treated for the infection which has been caused by chronic leukaemia
In a statement, his doctors Alberto Zangrillo and Fabio Ciceri said: “Over the past 48 hours there has been a progressive and steady improvement in the functionality of organs being monitored.”
They added he had recently developed a pulmonary infection and that “cytoreductive, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory therapies are producing the expected results, allowing us to express a cautious optimism”.
Mr Berlusconi continues to be treated in the intensive care section of the hospital, fuelling speculation that his condition could have put his life in danger, leading to family and friends visiting his bedside in recent days.
“He’s stable. He’s a rock,” Mr Berlusconi’s brother Paolo said after visiting him last Wednesday afternoon.
A source told Sky News last week that the four-time prime minister had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Image: The intensive care unit at San Raffaele Hospital The billionaire media tycoon has suffered several bouts of ill health in recent years, including contracting COVID-19 in 2020.
After being discharged from a 10-day hospital stay, he said the disease had been “insidious” and was the most dangerous challenge he had ever faced.
He has had a pacemaker for years, underwent heart surgery to replace an aortic valve in 2016 and has overcome prostate cancer. He was admitted for a reported urinary tract infection in January 2022.
Read more from Sky News:
Father’s emotional tribute to British-Israeli sisters
New evidence in notorious triple murder case
British woman falls from Benidorm hotel balcony
Mr Berlusconi stepped down as prime minister for the last time in 2011 as Italy came close to a Greece-style debt crisis and he faced numerous scandals, most notably around his notorious “bunga bunga” parties.
He returned to the Senate after a general election last September.