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George Clooney appears on Piers Morgan Tonight in an interview that airs on Jan. 21, 2011. - Provided courtesy of CNN / Turner Broadcasting / Piers Morgan

George Clooney contracted malaria in Sudan

Get more: George Clooney
01/20/2011 by Corinne Heller

George Clooney recently battled malaria during a trip to war-torn Sudan earlier this month but has since recovered.

The 49-year-old actor is a United Nations "Messenger of Peace" and visited the African nation to raise awareness of regional violence ahead of a January referendum on the possibility of making southern Sudan a separate state.

Last week, Clooney taped an interview with new CNN host Piers Morgan, who Tweeted on Thursday: "BREAKING NEWS: George Clooney has contracted malaria following recent trip to Sudan. More Clooney - it's his 2nd bout of malaria. Taking medication but feeling rough. Clooney malaria update: now have 24,563 offers to nurse him. But his rep says medication's worked and he's OK. Sorry, ladies."

The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes and symptoms are similar to the flu. Left untreated, malaria can lead to death.

"I've had it twice," Clooney said on Morgan's talk show. "I guess the mosquito in Juba looked at me and thought I was the bar."

Clooney's interview on "Piers Morgan Tonight" is set to air on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

"George is completely over the malaria he contracted while in the Sudan during the first week in January," his spokesperson said. "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."

Relations between residents of the northern part of Sudan, which is mostly Muslim, and the oil-rich south, whose people are mostly Christian, have soured since a 2005 peace deal and violence in the region has risen. The peace agreement ended the country's longest civil war, which lasted for about 20 years and killed more than 2 million people.

South Sudanese residents voted in the referendum held earlier this month to declare independence from the north, Reuters said early results showed. Official results are expected in early February.

Check out a sneak peek of George Clooney's appearance on 'Piers Morgan Tonight' below.

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