Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has contracted a second respiratory infection since undergoing a cancer-related operation in December.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas gave a brief update on the president, who remains in a military hospital since his return last month from Cuba where he had received medical treatment.
"Today there is a worsening of respiratory function," Villegas announced on Venezuelan state television, adding that Chavez was also receiving "intensive chemotherapy, as well as complementary treatments."
The Venezuelan government has disclosed limited information about Chavez’s illness, fueling uncertainty about whether he will be able to continue in office.
New elections will be held if Chavez dies or is incapacitated.
It was first revealed that Chavez had an unspecified form of cancer in June 2011. Since then he has undergone at least four operations in Cuba.
Following his latest operation in December, Chavez contracted a lung infection, forcing him to remain in Havana for nearly two months while he recovered.
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