Lisa Whelchel has West Nile virus

Lisa Whelchel, the former Facts of Life actor who’s on Survivor Philippines, announced today that she’s been diagnosed with West Nile virus.

Lisa announced this via social media, writing, “Dr. just called with blood test results…I have West Nile. Ugh. I’m fine, just tired. Takes a year to recover.” She added that “Other than tired, I’m feeling fine & expecting a full recovery.”

The virus is spread mostly by mosquito bites and according to WebMd, “When symptoms do appear, they begin 3 to 14 days after the mosquito bite.” In other words, she most likely did not get it while filming Survivor last spring.

WebMd notes that “[t]here is no treatment,” and “[m]ost of the time people fully recover from it. But permanent problems such as seizures, memory loss, and brain damage can occur, especially in children and older people.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.