The actress, who recently competed on U.S. adventure reality series Survivor: Philippines, has been struck down with the life-threatening mosquito-bourne infection, which is primarily found in tropical climates.
It is not yet known whether she contracted the illness while shooting the show in Asia back in March (12).
In a post on Twitter.com, she writes, “Dr. just called with blood test results…I have West Nile. Ugh. I’m fine, just tired. Takes a year to recover.”
And later thanking her fans for their well wishes, she added, “I’ve been very touched by all the sweet tweets… So grateful for you. Thanks!”
It has been tough year for Whelchel – in addition to her health problems, she also split from her husband of 24 years, Steve Cauble.