INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Tennis star Marion Bartoli reveals source of weight loss— an unknown virus

  • Tennis - French Open Women's Singles Quarterfinal match - Roland Garros - Serena Williams of the U.S. v Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva - Paris, France - 02/06/16. Serena Williams is interviewed by former French tennis player Marion Bartoli. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen - RTX2FDF6

    Tennis - French Open Women's Singles Quarterfinal match - Roland Garros - Serena Williams of the U.S. v Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva - Paris, France - 02/06/16. Serena Williams is interviewed by former French tennis player Marion Bartoli. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen - RTX2FDF6

  • Marion Bartoli of France holds her winners trophy, the Venus Rosewater Dish, after defeating Sabine Lisicki of Germany in their women's singles final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 6, 2013.          REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN  - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)   - RTX11EQZ

    Marion Bartoli of France holds her winners trophy, the Venus Rosewater Dish, after defeating Sabine Lisicki of Germany in their women's singles final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS) - RTX11EQZ

After losing more than 40 pounds, retired French tennis star Marion Bartoli announced that her dramatic weight loss is due to an unknown virus that limits what she can eat and drink.

Bartoli, 31, won Wimbledon in 2013 and retired from the sport two months later, citing continuous pain. She was scheduled to play an invitational event at this year’s tournament, but was forced to drop out after doctors expressed fear over her health.

Talking to ITV’s This Morning on Thursday, Bartoli said she can only eat organic salad leaves and cucumbers without skins, and has to bathe with mineral water rather than tap water, BBC News reported. While she tries to eat protein daily, even a little bit of fish can make her heart beat abnormally fast and she thinks her symptoms improve when she drinks excessive amounts of water, The Express reported.

Bartoli can’t come into contact with electrical items and must use gloves to access her mobile phone, as the virus has caused severe electro-sensitivity.

"I fear for my life. I worry that one day my heart will stop," Bartoli told This Morning.

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Bartoli, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2012, believes she contracted the virus when flying between Australia, New York and India in January and February this year, BBC News reported.

The virus is so rare, doctors don’t have a name for it, she said, and told This Morning that she will start treatment on Monday. The treatment wasn’t named.

“My life is a living nightmare,” Bartoli told This Morning. “I don't wish this on anyone but it is gradually getting worse.”