SYDNEY (Reuters) – American actor Zac Efron confirmed on Monday that he recently fell ill while filming a survival reality TV show in Papua New Guinea.
Australian media had reported that 32-year-old Efron was flown by helicopter for treatment in Australia after contracting a bacterial infection, possibly typhoid, while shooting the “Killing Zac Efron” series.
In a post on Monday on his official Twitter account, accompanied by a photograph of him with families in Papua New Guinea, Efron said that he was back home “for the holidays with my friends and family.”
“Very thankful to everyone who has reached out,” his post said. “I did get sick in Papua New Guinea but I bounced back quick and finished an amazing 3 weeks in P.N.G.”
Glenn McKay, a doctor with the Medical Rescue Group, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Sunday that he could not discuss confidential patient information, but could confirm “that Medical Rescue retrieved a U.S. citizen in his 30s from PNG to Brisbane recently for medical attention.”
The newspaper reported that doctors allowed Efron to fly home to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.
Typhoid fever is transmitted by contaminated food and water, and kills 216,000 to 600,000 people worldwide each year.
“Killing Zac Efron” is billed as an adventure series in which “The Greatest Showman” star ventures “deep into the jungles of a remote, dangerous island to carve his own name in expedition history.”
The series was commissioned by short content platform Quibi, which is scheduled to launch in April.
Efron had previously posted images on social media showing him in a canoe on PNG’s Sepik River and traveling to Yanchan Village to see a traditional skin-cutting ceremony.
(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Gerry Doyle)