Oprah ‘ended up in the emergency room’ after a serious health scare – the symptoms

Symptoms and diagnosis of pneumonia

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Oprah Winfrey revealed she returned from a trip abroad with what she thought was a cold. But it turned out to be much more severe. She was told by doctors she had pneumonia. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show she said: “I ended up in the emergency room, and they said, ‘You have pneumonia.’

“And I go home with pneumonia, and pneumonia’s nothing to play with y’all.”

Pneumonia is swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs and is usually caused by a bacterial infection.

It can also be caused by a virus, such as coronavirus.

Complications of pneumonia are more common in young children, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes.

But if it’s not treated properly, it can cause major health complications, including death.

In Winfrey’s case, the antibiotics prescribed by her doctor weren’t working, forcing her to seek a specialist.

The 67-year-old continued back in 2019: “So I go into the lung specialist, and I say, ‘I’ve got a little rattling,’ and he puts the stethoscope [on my neck] and I see the ‘Oh s**t’ face.

“It is like, ‘Oh, my, something’s wrong with you.’ I can see it, he didn’t hide it.”

Winfrey took some time off to get well – which is rare considering her on-the-go lifestyle.

“I never cancel anything. I work all the time when I’m sick!” she said, also revealing the doctor instructed her not to fly for a month.

Winfrey made a full recovery, but admitted the experienced completely “changed” how she sees wellness.

She now encourages everyone to get their flu vaccine.

Symptoms of pneumonia

The symptoms can develop suddenly over 24 to 48 hours, or they may come on more slowly over several days, explains the NHS.

Common symptoms include:

  • a cough – which may be dry, or produce thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus (phlegm)
  • difficulty breathing – your breathing may be rapid and shallow, and you may feel breathless, even when resting
  • rapid heartbeat
  • high temperature
  • feeling generally unwell
  • sweating and shivering
  • loss of appetite
  • chest pain – which gets worse when breathing or coughing

Less common symptoms include:

  • coughing up blood (haemoptysis)
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • wheezing
  • joint and muscle pain
  • feeling confused and disorientated, particularly in elderly people

If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell, use the 111 online coronavirus service.

If you feel unwell and have any other symptoms of pneumonia, contact your GP or use the regular 111 online service.

Call 999 for an ambulance if you or someone you care for:

  • are struggling to breathe
  • are coughing up blood
  • have blue lips or a blue face
  • feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
  • have a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it
  • collapse or faint
  • become confused or very drowsy
  • have stopped peeing or are peeing much less than usual

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