Stephen Hawking taken to Rome hospital for checks

Hawking (above), 74, was in Rome to attend a conference.
Hawking (above), 74, was in Rome to attend a conference.PHOTO: AFP

ROME (REUTERS) - British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has been hospitalised in Rome for checks after not feeling well but his condition is not believed to be serious, a spokesman said.

Hawking, 74, who was in Rome to attend a conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and met Pope Francis on Monday, was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Thursday (Dec 1) night.

Both the spokesman and a Vatican source said Hawking, who suffers from motor neurone disease, was not believed to be in serious condition.

The Vatican source said plans for Hawking and his entourage to leave on Saturday had not been changed.

A hospital source said Hawking would spend a second night in the Gemelli “as a precaution” but that “the situation was under control”.

Hawking, author of  A Brief History Of Time, speaks through a computer and travels with a staff that includes two nurses. He gave a talk at the Vatican on Nov 25 on the origin of the universe.

The Gemelli is considered one of Rome’s best hospitals and it is where popes are treated