Photo Credit: Courtesy of CBS
The newly single, former Facts of Life star revealed the news over Twitter, though she said it wasn't anything too serious.
"Dr. just called with blood test results...I have West Nile. Ugh. I'm fine, just tired. Takes a year to recover. :(" Whelchel, 49, tweeted. She later added, "I've been very touched by all the sweet tweets. Other than tired, I'm feeling fine & expecting a full recovery. So grateful for you. Thanks!"
Whelchel, who was recruited at the age of 12 for The New Mickey Mouse Club, is part of the Tandang tribe on Survivor: Philippines. The new season started airing on Sept. 19, and Whelchel is one of the contestants who has come to the forefront of this batch of Survivors.
It's unclear whether Whelchel got West Nile Virus from her time on Survivor, but it doesn't seem likely because of the length of time that has passed. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and there have been nearly 4,000 cases in the United States this year. The disease has a two-week incubation period, according to the CDC.
After being cast in Survivor: Philippines, Whelchel was reported as saying, "I didn't have one moment where I regretted being out there. In fact, the contrary. I was having an adventure; I was doing something that was a challenge, that was very hard."