Survivor Contestant Contracts West Nile Virus

FAIRFAX, Va. (November 15, 2012) – People Magazine reports that Survivor: Philippines contestant Lisa Whelchel has contracted West Nile virus. The formerFacts of Lifestar announced her diagnosis on Twitter, saying “Dr. just called with blood test results...I have West Nile. Ugh. I'm fine, just tired. Takes a year to recover.”

The mosquito-borne disease has infected 5,207 Americans so far this year and killed 234, according to new data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Jorge Parada, infectious disease specialist and medical spokesperson for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), advises that four out of five people infected with West Nile Virus will have no signs at all, while one in five people develop mild symptoms including fever, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen glands or a skin rash.