George Clooney reportedly contracted malaria during a recent trip to Sudan. CNN host Piers Morgan first reported the news on his Twitter page, writing, “George Clooney has contracted malaria following a recent trip to Sudan.” He later added: “More Clooney – it’s his 2nd bout of malaria. Taking medication but feeling rough.”
According to Morgan’s Twitter, Clooney also said, “Well you know even with malaria, it’s just been fun. I guess the mosquito in Juba looked at me and thought I was the bar.”
However, after Morgan’s “Breaking News,” AccessHollywood.com obtained a statement from Clooney’s representative, saying that he no longer is infected with the disease.
“George is completely over the Malaria he contracted while in the Sudan during the first week in January,” his rep told the website, adding that Clooney’s appearance on Morgan’s show was actually taped seven days ago – on January 13.
The actor himself added that his recuperation from the disease was a good lesson about the perils people face in Africa.
“This illustrates how with proper medication, the most lethal condition in Africa, can be reduced to bad ten days instead of a death sentence,” Clooney said in a statement.
CNN host then also tweeted: “Clooney malaria update: now have 24,563 offers to nurse him. But his rep says medication’s worked and he’s OK. Sorry, ladies.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site, “Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.”
It kills about 1 million people a year and is mostly limited to developing countries. Malaria has been nearly wiped out in the United States.
The 49-year-old actor has regularly travelled to Sudan to raise awareness of the Darfur conflict and was most recently in the country for a landmark referendum on independence for the South on January 9, 2011.
The talk-show host relayed part of the conversation he had with Clooney, tweeting, “Me: ‘Has President Bashir detached a detail of sickly, vengeful mosquitoes to target you whenever you arrive?’ George: ‘Yeah, I think so.’ “
The Ocean’s Eleven star was also in Sudan in December to help set up a satellite system with the aim of preventing a new civil war in the stricken country.
“The truth of the matter is we are hoping it is one of many tools to continue to apply pressure, at the very least, to gather evidence that could be used at The Hague later if there are – if there are infringements or rules broken … if anyone crosses across the border north or south,” Clooney told Morgan.
The actor teamed up with Not on Our Watch, the Enough Project, Google Inc., the United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Trellon LLC and others, to ask people to help prevent an outbreak of civil war in the country by sending the message: “the world is watching.”
Not On Our Watch – a charity founded by Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle – is funding the start-up phase of the Satellite Sentinel Project that will collect real-time satellite imagery from Sudan.
“We want to let potential perpetrators of genocide and other war crimes know that we’re watching, the world is watching,” Clooney said in a statement. “War criminals thrive in the dark. It’s a lot harder to commit mass atrocities in the glare of the media spotlight.”