February 24, 1999 12:00 AM

Michael Jackson pulled out of a concert in Italy to benefit the children of Kosovo and Guatemala on Tuesday because his 2-year-old son is seriously ill, according to news reports. Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. has a viral infection that has paralyzed him, the Italian news agency ANSA reported, quoting Jackson spokesman Jonathan Morrish. “Friday night the child . . . lost consciousness, and his legs and arms were paralyzed because of a high viral fever,” Morrish said in Modena, where the concert organized by opera star Luciano Pavarotti was held Tuesday. “The next 24 hours will be decisive for Prince’s health,” ANSA quoted Morrish as saying. He said it was the third time Prince has suffered a seizure this year.

  • ANSA said Jackson’s doctor called Pavarotti’s assistant early Tuesday morning to tell her that Prince was doing a bit better but that Jackson still would not travel to Modena. The child is in a New York hospital, according to reports. In January Jackson’s son was rushed to a hospital and treated for a viral infection accompanied by fever and dehydration.

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