Oprah Winfrey treated for dehydration at emergency room while dealing with stomach virus

 June 13, 2024

A minor media panic ensued on Tuesday when a bit of miscommunication and "too much information" from a close friend sparked wild rumors that legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey, 70, had been hospitalized in "serious" condition.

As it turned out, Winfrey revealed to her good friend Gayle King that she did visit an emergency room to receive treatment for dehydration related to a stomach virus but she was not actually "hospitalized" as some had feared, according to the Daily Mail.

The TV icon further revealed that while she was not yet back to 100% following her illness, she expected that she would soon be fully recovered.

When a friend reveals too much

On Tuesday's "CBS Mornings," co-host King revealed that her best friend Winfrey would not be joining them as usual to announce the latest selection for Oprah's Book Club, "Familiaris" by author David Wroblewski, because of an illness she was battling.

"She had some kind of stomach thing -- stomach flu -- stuff was coming out of both ends. I won't get too graphic," King said of Winfrey. "But needless to say, she ended up in the hospital, dehydration, had to get an IV. So it was a very serious thing."

After concern was expressed by the show's other co-hosts, King added, "She will be OK. I hope she's not mad at me for sharing that detail."

Clearing the air

Later that same day, King shared a video on Instagram of her speaking directly with Winfrey via their computers, in which Winfrey described what she had been dealing with and said, "I'm not 100, I'm on my way to a 100."

Referencing the media blow-up, King clarified to her longtime friend, "'I never said you were hospitalized -- I did say that you had a stomach something, was coming out of both sides, which it was."

Winfrey explained, "I was in the emergency room, I was so dehydrated. I had a dry mouth and I couldn't keep enough water down to get hydrated, so I went to the emergency room for that, and that's just it."

She further revealed that "Five people in my household had the same thing" and suspected she had contracted the virus from a doorknob or stair railing as she advised everybody to wash their hands often while around others who are sick.

"The only point I was trying to make is to show how badly you wanted to be there to promote the book 'cause you never miss those," King said of her earlier revelatory remarks. "The point I was trying to make, America, is that it had to be something that would keep her from getting on a plane and coming. That's the only point I was trying to make."

"I didn't really think that it was a big deal or that it would be something that would be upsetting to you, otherwise I never would have said it," she added as a sort of apology, but Winfrey brushed the whole thing off with no hard feelings as she replied, "Yeah, I know you wouldn't have done that."

Rep says Winfrey is "resting and feeling better every day"

USA Today reported that a representative of Winfrey further confirmed the situation in a Tuesday statement, "Ms. Winfrey is recovering following a stomach virus and received an IV due to dehydration at the recommendation of her doctor. She is resting and feeling better every day."

As for King, People magazine reported that she posted pictures of herself online on Wednesday posing in a humorous custom black t-shirt that read on the front, "OPRAH is FINE! Thank you for asking," and added on the back, "She appreciates your concern!"

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