Tony Gardner contracted the Zika virus during Caribbean filming

Actor Tony Gardner has told how he contracted the Zika virus while filming in the Caribbean.

The 52-year-old said he felt “pretty rough” for a week after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the disease .

Tony was filming the hit BBC crime series Death In Paradise on the island of Guadeloupe when he became infected.

“At the time there was about 100 cases in the country that had come into our country from outside … There are now about 200 Brits who have had Zika, but quite a lot of them, possibly, come from the group of people that go out to Guadeloupe for six months a year to film,” he said on comedian Sean Hughes’s podcast.

“About a couple of hours before I flew out I got a rash. And then for a week I wasn’t particularly well with joint pain and swelling and a bit of sort of … didn’t like the light … I just felt pretty rough actually for about a week.”

But the father and qualified doctor said that the virus was not a “problem” for him because he has no plans to have more children.

“It’s quite dangerous for people getting pregnant or men starting families. That’s why it can be serious in people who are about to have families.”

The production company behind the drama, Red Planet Pictures, said in a statement: “We take the safety of all of our cast and crew seriously and made all actors aware of the potential medical issues that may arise when filming in the Caribbean, including the risk of the Zika virus.

“Information was provided on avoiding all mosquito born viruses and insect repellent was available on set at all times. Despite these precautions, a small number of the team were unwell after having been bitten.”

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