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Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK


Jackson's son 'fine'

Michael Jackson pulled out a charity concert to be with his son

Singer Michael Jackson's two-year-old son, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Junior, is "fine" and not dying, according to his doctor.

Earlier this week, there were fears that the child was on the verge of death after reports that he had suffered a serious seizure.

His father even pulled out of a charity concert to be at his hospital bedside in New York.

[ image: Pavarotti asked people to pray for the toddler]
Pavarotti asked people to pray for the toddler
But in statement made on Thursday, the child's LA doctor, Dr Allen L Metzger, said the seriousness of Prince Michael's condition had been exaggerated.

"Many reports have circulated in Europe and the United States that are completely fictitious. He is not dying. He has a viral infection and he's going to be fine," he said.

Dr Metzger, who has been consulting with Prince Michael's doctors in New York, added that the child was now being looked after by his father in a New York City hotel.

Reports of the child's illness emerged when Michael Jackson, 40, pulled out of benefit concert in Italy.

He was due to perform with Luciano Pavarotti at a show in Modena in support of the children of Kosovo and Guatemala.

But he decided not to travel because his son was said to be in a New York hospital suffering from a viral infection which had paralysed him.

"Significant improvement"

On stage in Modena, Pavarotti asked the audience to pray for the child, but in Los Angeles Jackson's wife Debbie Rowe denied reports her son was dying.

Ms Rowe, who worked as a nurse for one of Jackson's doctors before their 1996 marriage, told a local TV station: "He's fine. He is not dying. He has a virus infection and is going to be fine."

[ image: Debbie Rowe denied her son was dying]
Debbie Rowe denied her son was dying
Dr Metzger would now appear to have confirmed her statement.

"There is no neurological disease. Such seizures can occur when a child's temperature is too high or goes up too quickly. He is showing slow and significant improvement," he said.

He added that seizures of this kind can occur in 5-10% of children under five.

This is not the first time Prince Michael, who was born in February 1997, has suffered a health scare.

He was taken to hospital in January and treated for a viral infection accompanied by fever and dehydration. In February also, he was reportedly treated in Los Angeles for the same symptoms.

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