Lisa Whelchel Has West Nile Virus; Survivor Philipines Star Expects Full Recovery

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Lisa Whelchel is still in the running for the $1 million prize on Survivor: Philipines, but first she must outwit, outplay and outlast an unexpected new adversary:

West Nile virus.

Lisa Whelchel Photo

"Dr. just called with blood test results ... I have West Nile. Ugh," Welchel, 49, tweeted, adding that she should recover fully and is more or less "fine, just tired."

Spread by mosquitos, West Nile's symptoms include fatigue, headaches and body aches. Whelchel did not say if she contracted it during the reality series.

Although there is no treatment for the virus, the majority of those infected do not suffer permanent health effects. Hopefully, Lisa falls into that majority.

"I've been very touched by all the sweet tweets. Other than tired, I'm feeling fine & expecting a full recovery," Welchel added. "So grateful for you. Thanks!"

Now a part of Survivor's final eight competitors, Welchel is optimistic.

"I'm not one of those that say, 'Yeah, I'm going to win,' because there's so many things that could happen," she recently told Us. "But I think I could!"

We'll be on Team Lisa the rest of the way for sure.


This is unfortunate, and I really hope that she didn’t catch it while on Survivor because I am rooting for her to win. A serious illness like that would have really hurt her chances out there, and I know I will be looking for signs on the show. I was talking to a coworker at DISH who thinks that it didn’t affect her performance because she just now discovered it, but she could have just thought it was something else until now. I went back and looked at last night’s episode because I still had it on my DISH Hopper. I love how its Primetime Anytime feature records everything on during primetime on the four major networks and saves it for a week at times like this. She didn’t show any signs of sickness, but they are only about half way into it. I hope that she makes a full recovery and gets another gig on TV because have really liked her on Survivor.