Zac Efron Suffered Life-Threatening Infection While Filming Reality Show, ‘Killing Zac Efron’

Zac Efron poses on the red carpet.
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for Netflix

Actor Zac Efron nearly had life imitate art while filming his reality series, Killing Zac Efron.

The actor said this week that he suffered a life-threatening bacterial infection while filming in Papua New Guinea, the New York Post reported. Efron had already made it through the health scare by the time he took to Twitter to let his fans know that he was all right.

“I did get sick in Papua New Guinea but I bounced back quick and finished an amazing 3 weeks in P.N.G. I’m home for the holidays with my friends and family,” the actor wrote, thanking them for the love and concern and saying he would see them in 2020.

But the ailment may have been much more serious than he let on. According to a report from Australia’s Sunday Telegraph, via Vulture, Efron had to be airlifted by a medevac crew to Brisbane and rushed to St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in the nearby suburb of Spring Hill for treatment. The outlet cited a source who said he came down with a very serious bacterial infection that may have been typhoid during what was described as an “off-grid” shoot.

Efron was later released and returned to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve, where he spent several more days undergoing treatment, the Vulture report noted.

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by direct contact with the feces of an infected person, often through contaminated food or water. The ailment can be fatal without proper treatment, and has a recovery period that can stretch up to two weeks. Efron did not confirm in his statement exactly what caused him to fall ill, or the circumstances of his illness.

Killing Zac Efron shows the actor going through adventures in the wild, going off the grid for three weeks in remote jungles in Papua New Guinea, the New York Post noted.

Efron said that he was excited for the different kind of acting opportunity, saying in a statement, as the reality show was announced, that he loves the outdoors and taking on new challenges.

“I tend to thrive under extreme circumstances and seek out opportunities that challenge me on every level,” Efron said, via the New York Post. “I am excited to explore any uncharted territory and discover what unexpected adventure awaits!”

It was not clear how the health scare would affect filming for Killing Zac Efron, or when the actor might be returning to Papua New Guinea.