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Zac Efron responds to dramatic reports about his health in best possible way

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Kayleigh Dray
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JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, April 30, included Zac Efron ("Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile"), Lena Waithe ("The Chi"), and musical guest Pentatonix. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) ZAC EFRON

The actor was ‘rushed to hospital after contracting deadly illness’ in Papua New Guinea, according to tabloids.

“Have you heard about Zac Efron?” was pretty much the subject of all my WhatsApp groups this morning. Having gone to bed early (it’s Christmas, don’t judge) and woken up at 8am, I hadn’t. My friends wasted no time in filling me in on the details: Efron had contracted a “deadly illness” and been air-lifted to hospital in a terrifying race-against-the-clock journey.

It’s not that I don’t believe my friends (friends, it’s not that I don’t believe you!), but I tend to take every celebrity news story with a hefty pinch of salt. A quick scroll through Google, however, seemingly confirmed the fact that Efron had unwittingly become the subject of his own real-life survival movie.

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One tabloid headline, screaming at me from the mass of Efron-based reports, declared: “Zac Efron almost DIED in Papua New Guinea while filming survival documentary after contracting a deadly infection and was flown to Australia for urgent treatment.”

“Zac Efron ‘rushed to hospital on life-or-death flight after contracting deadly illness while filming in Papua New Guinea’,” declared another.

And one more, preferring to opt for present tense always (why ever imply that the danger has long since passed, eh?), insisted: “Zac Efron ‘rushed to hospital after contracting deadly illness’ in Papua New Guinea”.

So… what happened?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Zac Efron attends "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile" - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on May 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Zac Efron has been filming a new survival series, titled Killing Zac Efron.

Well, as reported by The Sunday Telegraph, Efron was filming a new series titled Killing Zac Efron when he apparently became ill with “a form of typhoid or similar bacterial infection”. The actor was flown to Brisbane, Australia with medical professionals on hand, then admitted to St Andrews War Memorial Hospital “in a stable condition”.

According to the newspaper, Efron was given the all-clear to fly home to the US on Christmas Eve. Which means that, essentially, worried fans all over the world need not worry: all is well, and your favourite is in good health (despite what some overly-dramatic headlines would have you believe).

Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you’ll believe the man himself. That’s right: Efron is well enough to take to social media, and he has done so in order to put those “Zac Efron at death’s door” rumours to bed.

“Very thankful to everyone who has reached out,” he said, addressing his fans directly. 

Then, identifying the kernel of truth in the media frenzy, Efron continued: “I did get sick in Papua New Guinea, but I bounced back quick and finished an amazing three weeks in P.N.G.”

The actor added: “I’m home for the holidays with my friends and family. Thanks for all the love and concern, see you in 2020!”

Fans were, understandably, very grateful for Efron’s tabloid report-busting post.

“Good!” wrote one. “I was worried there.”

Another added a string of praise hand emojis, while still one more noted: “EPIC!!!”

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Killing Zac Efron, which was announced earlier this year, will see the actor unleash his inner Bear Grylls as he ventures “deep into the jungles of a remote, dangerous island to carve his own name in expedition history”.

In order to film the series (of which Efron is producer, as well as the star), the actor was said to be going off-grid for 21 days “with nothing but basic gear, a guide partner and a will to survive”.

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

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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