Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Fogle catches a flesh-eating bug

Ben Fogle
Ben Fogle has appeared on Castaway and Countryfile

TV personality Ben Fogle has caught a potentially fatal flesh-eating disease while filming a BBC TV series.

The star, 34, has a hole at least an inch wide on his right arm, following his return from the Peruvian jungles.

He has had a biopsy to determine the strain of the infection, which is believed to be the potentially life-threatening leishmaniasis.

"The infection can attack internal organs and can be fatal," said his spokeswoman.

"The strain of infection will be determined in the next few days," she added.

"It is important he has treatment quickly."

Mystery illness

"After 13 expeditions to remote parts of the world, I would consider myself lucky. This is the first time I'm ill," said Fogle, who will be treated at London's Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

"I have every confidence in the specialists treating me," he added.

The mystery illness left him bedridden for three weeks after returning from Peru, where he was filming a new BBC adventure series Extreme Dreams.

The adventurer was still planning to take part in the inaugural South Pole Race in December with Olympic gold medal-winning rower James Cracknell, according to his spokeswoman.

The race will follow the route taken by Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen over the frozen landscape almost 100 years ago.

Fogle sprang to fame in 2000 after taking part in the BBC's reality show Castaway and has since appeared on Countryfile, Animal Park and Cash in the Attic, among other shows.

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