George Clooney Contracts Malaria – and Beats It

01/20/2011 at 03:25 PM EST

George Clooney Contracts Malaria – and Beats It
George Clooney in Sudan
Thomas Mukoya/Reuters/Landov
George Clooney is known for his practical jokes but a recent bout with a serious illness was no laughing matter.

The actor, 49, contracted Malaria during a trip to Africa recently as part of a push for aggressive diplomacy to avoid another potential genocide in the Sudan region. But, his rep says, he's subsequently made a full recovery despite new reports to the contrary.

"George is completely over the Malaria he contracted while in the Sudan during the first week in January," his rep tells PEOPLE. "This was his second bout with it. This illustrates how with proper medication, the most lethal condition in Africa, can be reduced to a bad ten days instead of a death sentence."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site, "Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans."

The news of his illness broke Thursday via the host of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, who Tweeted that Clooney is still fighting the illness: "It's his 2nd bout of malaria. Taking medication but feeling rough," Morgan claimed.

Morgan says Clooney, who taped his interview on Jan. 13, is due to be a guest on his show on Friday and will talk about the condition then.

For more information about malaria and ways to help, visit


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