Formula One legend Michael Schumacher has reportedly contracted pneumonia even as doctors are trying to bring him out of the medically-induced coma at the Grenoble hospital.
The seven-time German world champion has been in a coma since his December 29 ski accident, when he badly injured his head, causing serious swelling of the brain.
According to News.com.au, pneumonia- a respiratory condition where there is inflammation of the lungs- is usually caused by an infection, such as from a virus, bacteria or fungus, and can be life-threatening for people in Schumacher's condition
The report mentioned that the illness' effect on Schumacher's fragile state of health is still unknown, with Schumacher's spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, refusing to comment on 'speculation'.
The doctors treating Schumacher had said they were trying to coax him out of the coma by reducing his sedation, although the report mentioned that the process of bringing him out of the coma might be delayed if Schumacher has pneumonia.
Factored into such a decision are the patient's vital functions and ability to breathe independently - all artificial coma patients require a ventilator, and the report added that doctors would now watch the patient for any response to external stimuli like voice commands, while also monitoring his brain with scanners.