Justin Bieber announced on Instagram Friday (June 10) that he has been battling a serious virus, one that has left the right side of his face paralyzed, and that he will be taking time off from performing until he gets better.
The singer posted a video Friday explaining to fans why he’s had to postpone several shows over the last week, explaining he’s been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Bieber said it’s affected a nerve in his ear, causing the paralysis, which you can clearly see has affected half of his face — unable to blink his right eye, flare his nostril or smile fully.
Bieber apologized to fans and is in hopes they will understand, taking a break from touring as he says it is “pretty serious” and that he’ll need to work on facial exercises to get back to normal — however long that will take.
“I wish this wasn’t the case but obviously my body is telling me I gotta slow down,” he said. “I hope you guys understand, and I’m using this time to just rest and relax and get back to 100% so I can do what I was born to do. But in the meantime, this ain’t it.”
Watch his announcement below:
The virus that causes Ramsay Hunt syndrome is called varicella-zoster, which is in the herpes virus family — the same pathogen behind shingles, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The virus, which is not contagious, can lie dormant in your body for years before reactivating and spreading to a facial nerve near your ear, developing into either shingles or in some cases, Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The syndrome typically affects people over the age of 60.