Justin Bieber announced in a video on Friday that he has Ramsay Hunt syndrome. A rare disease from which the singer suffers, which forces him to cancel his tour.
In a video shared on his networks, Justin Bieber appeared on Friday with his face stiff, one eye blinking for no reason, explaining that he had Ramsay Hunt syndrome. “As you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt,” the 28-year-old artist explained. A disorder caused as he specifies “by a virus which attacked the nerves of his ear and his face”, with the consequence of causing paralysis. Ramsay Hunt syndrome is indeed caused by a virus well known to the general public since it is that of chickenpox.
Reactivation of the varicella virus
Once contracted, usually during childhood, the varicella virus remains dormant in the body. It can manifest itself again during life, causing for example shingles, and sometimes in more serious forms, evolve into Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which in turn can lead to neurological disorders. These are manifested, as for Justin Bieber by paralysis of the facial nerve. Depending on the case, the muscles of the face can then be weakened or stiffened resulting in an inability to smile, wrinkle the forehead or close the eyes on the affected side, even in some cases causing speech confusion.
In most cases, this syndrome is accompanied by a rash, redness or even blisters affecting the ear or mouth.
A rare disease, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, baptized as such in 1907 by the scientist who discovered it, generally affects elderly or immunocompromised people, as the infectious disease specialist at Garches hospital explained to AFP ( AP-HP Paris Hospitals) Benjamin Davido. “It is amazing to do a Ramsay Hunt at the age of Justin Bieber”, explained the latter, specifying that “an imperfect lifestyle or a context of overwork can play, because we are then more sensitive to viral infections” .
“Obviously my body is telling me to slow down”, explained Justin Bieber in his video message, specifying that he was going to “take this time to (rest) and come back to 100%”. If the artist did not specify being under treatment, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can be treated by combining antiviral treatments and corticosteroids. However, it requires rehabilitation, which must be started as soon as possible in order to recover well, notes Benjamin Davido, who also specifies to AFP that in “about 30% of cases”, sequelae may persist.
However, Ramsay Hunt syndrome remains a rare disease which, according to the NORD organization, affects five out of 100,000 people in the United States.