Justin Bieber has Lyme disease

Singer Justin Bieber (left, with wife Hailey Baldwin) will address his struggle with Lyme disease in a YouTube documentary.
Singer Justin Bieber (above, with wife Hailey Baldwin) will address his struggle with Lyme disease in a YouTube documentary.PHOTO: HAILEYBIEBER/ INSTAGRAM

MONTREAL • As Long As You Love Me singer Justin Bieber has announced he has Lyme disease.

In a post on Instagram on Wednesday, he said he will address his struggle with the illness, which is contracted through a tick bite, in a YouTube documentary.

"It's been a rough couple of years getting the right treatment... I will be back and better than ever," the 25-year-old wrote.

He called out critics who he said had been unfairly commenting on his looks by saying he seemed like he was on drugs.

"They failed to realise I've been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that, but also had a serious case of chronic mono, which affected my, skin, brain function, energy and overall health."

The photo portion of Bieber's post shows a TMZ article reporting that the YouTube documentary is set for a Jan 27 release.

"You can learn all that I've been battling and overcoming," he added.

He spent much of last year suffering but undiagnosed, TMZ reported, until doctors figured out what was wrong.

The post's photos include photos said to be taken in September of Bieber appearing to be hooked to an intravenous drip.

In subsequent posts later in the day, Bieber thanked his fans for supporting his new song Yummy, released last week.

The Canadian seemed to say he is doing better, posting a meme video of a little girl dancing with the caption: "But now, this is how I'm feelin."

After an Instagram post indicated that he would be taking time off from music to focus on "my family and health", he married model Hailey Baldwin, 23, in September 2018.

Bieber has a new album and tour coming soon, according to TMZ.

In September last year, Bieber opened up about the "massive ups and downs" he experienced as he went from a teenage heart-throb to "the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world".

In a lengthy Instagram post, he reflected on how child stardom triggered depression and a lack of humility that led to drug abuse and his becoming "resentful, disrespectful to women and angry".

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through infected ticks, according to the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, fatigue and joint aches.

Most people, who are treated with antibiotics early, fully recover, according to the CDC, though the infection can become severe or prolonged in some cases.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2020, with the headline 'Justin Bieber has Lyme disease'. Print Edition | Subscribe