On Monday, Kelly Dodd from The Real Housewives of Orange County shared that she and her husband, Rick Leventhal, contracted Lyme disease. The RHOC alum made the announcement on her Instagram Story, per PEOPLE. A day after Dodd shared this news, it was reported that she, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, and Elizabeth Vargas would all be leaving the Bravo series.
Dodd said on her Instagram Story, while filming her husband, "So, we tested positive for Lyme disease." She added that she has "never had contact with a tick in my life." Leventhal then added that he's battled the illness twice before. When he was previously diagnosed with Lyme disease, Leventhal said that he took an antibiotic pill. He added that the medication cured both of his bouts with the illness. Leventhal, a Fox News reporter, said that he hopes that will be the case with his third battle with Lyme disease. Dodd did not share any other details about her and Leventhal's diagnoses, including where they may have contracted Lyme disease. PEOPLE reached out to her rep for comment, but they did not hear back by the time of the article's publication.
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As previously mentioned, Dodd shared the news about her Lyme disease diagnosis a day before Bravo revealed some major news about the next season of RHOC. Bravo confirmed to Variety that Dodd, Windham-Burke, and Vargas would all be departing ahead of Season 16. They also revealed that Heather Dubrow, who was previously a Housewife from Season 7 to Season 11, would be returning to the show. Dubrow is an actor and is married to Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon who stars on the E! series Botched. The Dubrows have four children together. She will join returning cast members Shannon Beador, Emily Simpson, and Gina Kirschenheiter.
Dodd, who was on RHOC from Season 11 to Season 15, subsequently released a statement about this news. On social media, the former Housewife reflected on her time with the reality show, which she joined in 2016. Based on her statement, it's clear that she's looking towards the future. Dodd wrote, "The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better. I'm so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future."