Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has developed pneumonia as doctors at a French hospital continue to work to bring him out of a medically induced coma, according to a report in a German newspaper.
The Bild daily, which is believed to have several sources close to the legendary driver, reported Wednesday that doctors had diagnosed Schumacher with pneumonia last week.
Schumacher family spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said the report was "speculation, and I do not comment on speculation."
Schumacher has been in the artificial coma since suffering a severe head injury in a skiing accident at a resort in the French Alps December 29. On January 30, Kehm confirmed that doctors were reducing Schumacher's sedation levels in an attempt to wake him up. It was not immediately clear whether doctors had halted Schumacher's "recovery phase" as a result of the infection.
"Pneumonia is generally a serious and dangerous disease because the body is supplied with less oxygen and is overall very weakened," Prof. Heinzpeter Moecke, Director of the Institute for Emergency Medicine at the Asklepios Clinic in Hamburg told Bild.
If the report is true, Schumacher's infection is expected to be treated with antibiotics. He is already on a regimen of blood thinners to prevent thrombosis, and is repeatedly moved to ensure his muscles don't atrophy, as well as to prevent the development of pressures sores.