November 24, 2008

TV’s Ben Fogle battling flesh-eating bug

TV presenter Ben Fogle is battling a flesh-eating bug and may not be able to take a trip to the South Pole as planned next month, The Times of London said.

Fogle, 35, contracted the potentially fatal parasitic disease leishmaniasis while shooting his adventure series Extreme Dreams in the Peruvian jungle. He must undergo daily treatments at a London hospital that specializes in tropical diseases, and the side-effects of the treatment are similar to those people undergoing chemotherapy experience, the newspaper said.

Ben is really suffering, a friend told The Times. His immune system has been shot to pieces. He is vomiting a lot, mostly at nights. His joints and bones ache and his muscles seize up. He's never taken a day off sick in his life, but he cannot work at the moment.

Fogle is keeping a positive attitude that he will be able to head to the South Pole in December, despite his health crisis.

While the treatment is unpleasant, I am reassured that it has a high success rate and would like to thank all the (hospital staff) for their kind, professional care and help, Fogle told the newspaper. I am feeling optimistic and looking forward to heading to Antarctica, which, I am relieved to say, has no skin-eating parasites.