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RHOC 's Kelly Dodd Reveals She and Husband Rick Leventhal Contracted Lyme Disease

·3-min read

Kelly Dodd/Instagram Rick Leventhal and Kelly Dodd

Kelly Dodd and her husband Rick Leventhal have contracted Lyme disease.

On Monday, the Real Housewives of Orange County star, 45, revealed the diagnosis on her Instagram Story.

"So, we tested positive for Lyme disease," Dodd said, while filming Leventhal sitting across the table from her.

She went on to say that this is her first bout with the disease. "I've never had contact with a tick in my life," she said.

Leventhal, however, told Dodd he's had Lyme disease twice in the past.

He then took an antibiotic pill, adding that the medicine cured his other bouts with Lyme and stressing that he hopes it will work again.

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Kelly Dodd/Instagram

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About 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, recent estimates suggest that as many as half a million people in the U.S. contract the disease annually.

In many cases, a tick must be attached to a host for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease is transmitted. There is currently no evidence that it is spread from person-to-person transmission, the CDC reports.

Dodd didn't say where she and Leventhal suspected they contracted Lyme. A rep for the reality star did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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On Sunday, the couple returned from a trip to the Turks & Caicos, where they celebrated a friend's birthday.

"Bye bye Turks & Caicos 😢we had the best time!" Dodd wrote on Instagram, sharing a series of photos from the trip, including some sweet snaps of she and Leventhal kissing on a boat.

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Back in March, Dodd wrapped up season 15 of RHOC with an explosive reunion special.

Plans for season 16 of the Bravo reality series have yet to be revealed. Despite a February tweet from Dodd that hinted at her return to the show, a rep for Bravo told PEOPLE at the time that the network has not yet made any casting decisions for next season.

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Meanwhile, Dodd isn't the first Real Housewives star to have contracted Lyme disease.

In March 2020, Real Housewives of New York City star Ramona Singer revealed she had been diagnosed with the illness. She reportedly contracted Lyme from an unnoticed tick bite while spending time at her home in the Hamptons.

"It's just a really scary disease and it's not black-and-white," Singer told Entertainment Tonight back in 2018, after her sister had contracted the disease too.

"Life is about having your health - health is everything, and if you're waking up in the morning and feeling bedridden, you don't want to go and meet your friends for lunch or work out," Singer continued. "Life is about embracing your passions, whether it's work, family or friends and this disease inhibits people's lifestyles."

Yolanda Hadid, of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, has also battled the disease and even wrote a 2017 book about it called Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease.

"This disease has brought me and many others to our knees, often wishing to die of utter hopelessness and exhaustion," she said at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala in 2016. "Like I always say, you don't get it until you get it."