Singer Justin Bieber announced that he has Lyme disease — and an upcoming documentary series.
In a Wednesday post on his Instagram account, the Canadian crooner, 25, explained that he was recently diagnosed and that his often-discussed appearance is a byproduct of illness.
The pop star also told his followers he has battled chronic mono that affected his skin, brain function and overall health.
More details about his Lyme affliction will be unveiled in an upcoming documentary series, he said.
“It’s been a rough couple of years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever. NO CAP.”
About 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The illness is transmitted though the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (aka deer ticks), according to the federal agency. The sesame-seed-sized adults and their poppy-seed-sized babies attach themselves to hard-to-see areas, such as at the groin, armpits and scalp for 36 to 48 hours, which allows them to pass on their Lyme disease bacterium. Nymph ticks, which are smaller than adult ticks, are more likely to affect people because of their size.
Last April, the CDC reported that certain species of ticks have expanded their geographic range along with their ability to spread illness such as Lyme disease. Counties in the U.S. Northeast and Upper Midwest are considered high-risk areas.
A bitten person can develop a rash around the bite area that could feel hot to the touch and will look like a bull’s-eye, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. For those who don’t develop the characteristic Lyme rash, diagnosing the disease can be more difficult because it can mimic symptoms of other diseases. Those can range from flu-like symptoms to neurological disruptions, such as facial paralysis or severe headaches.
Early Lyme diagnosis can be cured with antibiotics, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. A late-stage diagnosis can result in joint inflammation, heart rhythm problems and brain and nervous system complications.
Model Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber’s wife, urged people who downplayed the severity of the illness to educate themselves.
She also thanked other celebrities, such as fellow models Bella and Gigi Hadid and their mother Yolanda, for informing the public about life with Lyme disease.
Canadian singer Avril Lavigne is among those who have talked about their struggles of Lyme disease and its complications.
Lavigne told Billboard magazine in 2018 that she was bedridden for two years while she was battling the illness. She founded the Avril Lavigne Foundation that provides funding and education about Lyme disease.
She tweeted that she was sorry that Justin Bieber was diagnosed with the disease. “The fact that it’s so hard to diagnose and is so debilitating was something I suffered through also,” she wrote.