George Stephanopoulos has tested positive for coronavirus, less than two weeks after his wife revealed she had ‘never been sicker’ as she quarantined at home with the illness.
On April 1, Ali Wentworth shared a photo of herself suffering in bed with high fever, body aches and a heavy chest while enduring what’s regarded as mild symptoms the illness.
But on Monday as he revealed on Good Morning America that he too had COVID-19, Stephanopoulos shared that he was asymptomatic and feeling fine.
Discussing Wentworth’s progress with is co-hosts Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Stephanopoulos said ‘she’s doing much, much better’, going onto her fifth day with no fever and slowly getting out of bed a little bit more each day’.
George Stephanopoulos has tested positive for coronavirus, he told GMA Monday
On April 1, Ali Wentworth shared a photo of herself suffering in bed with high fever, body aches and a heavy chest
I also learned over the weekend that my test came back positive for COVID as well which is really no surprise given that I’ve been here for a couple of weeks,’ Stephanopoulos said.
‘But I’m one of those, I guess, cases that are basically asymptomatic.’
Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms. Mild cases can cause cold-like symptoms including a sore throat, headache, fever, cough or trouble breathing. Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory illness, kidney failure and death. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
He added in a segment later in the show that in hindsight he believes he may have felt some mild symptoms that he associated with side-effects from physical exercise. ‘I’ve never had a fever, never had chills, never had a headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath. I’m feeling great,’ Stephanopoulos explained.
‘I actually thought it was from a hard workout that day, and it cleared up the next morning.’
‘I’ve never had a fever, never had chills, never had a headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath. I’m feeling great,’ Stephanopoulos (right) explained. Pictured left is Michael Strahan and center is Robin Roberts
The couple has been isolating at home with their two children Elliott Anastasia Stephanopolous and Harper Andrea Stephanopolous (pictured June 2017)
Some people have reported losing their sense of taste and smell but Stephanopoulos only experienced one day where his senses were affected. ‘Several days after that I had one day where I had a diminished sense of smell but that’s really been it for my symptoms over these last several weeks,’ Stephanopoulos continued.
‘I was taking the test fully expecting it was going to come back negative, but in fact, it did come back positive.’
The CDC had estimated that one in four people who are infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms at all, which is one of the reasons the government has urged everyone to stay at home to slow the rate of infection, even if the individual is now experiencing symptoms.
Medical commentator Dr. Jen shared that recent data out of Iceland, where testing has been much more thorough due to the small population, showed that 50 percent of people who are infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms at all.
‘It’s affected Ali and I in such different ways and you read all kinds of things on the internet, maybe it has something to do with blood type or something else. What is the science on that or is it too early to tell?’ Stephanopolous asked.
But Dr. Jen replied it’s ‘too early to tell’.
‘It’s affected Ali and I in such different ways and you read all kinds of things on the internet, maybe it has something to do with blood type or something else. What is the science on that or is it too early to tell?’ Stephanopolous (left) asked. But Dr. Jen (right) replied it’s ‘too early to tell’
‘We have to remember this virus is just about four months old so literally we’re learning things about the way it behaves and the way it transmits and causes disease every day, but one of the theories is that it has to do with how much of the actual viral particles or the viral load someone gets exposed to,’ the doctor shared.
‘That may be one part of it. Your immune reaction to the virus may be another part. Where the virus actually lodges, we know it attaches to cells in the respiratory tract but exactly where may have something to do with it.’
WHAT ARE THE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS?
The virus, called COVID-19, is transmitted from person to person via droplets when an infected person breathes out, coughs or sneezes.
It can also spread via contaminated surfaces such as door handles or railings.
Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Mild cases can cause cold-like symptoms including a sore throat, headache, fever, cough or trouble breathing.
Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory illness, kidney failure and death.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
The doctor added that Stephanopoulos, 59, ‘got lucky’ that he didn’t suffer more from the disease.
Even in ‘mild’ cases, the symptoms can be horrific, as Wentworth herself said in an Instagram post earlier this month where she called it ‘pure misery’ being quarantined from her family in another room and feeling ‘high fever’, ‘horrific body aches’ and a ‘heavy chest’.
‘In terms of the symptoms it’s important for people to understand, when we say about 80% of the cases are mild, that doesn’t mean pleasant,’ Dr. Jen said. ‘Ali’s case clinically was defined as mild because she didn’t need hospitalization but it certainly wasn’t pleasant, so you got lucky for sure.’
Dr. Jen told Stephanopoulos’s co-host Strahan that it’s still unclear whether a person becomes immune after experiencing COVID-19 once.
‘Every time we’re exposed to a virus, yes, we develop some immune reaction or protection, but when that occurs, how strong it is, how long it will last? All unknowns,’ she shared.
‘And remember, there are slightly different strains of this virus just like any other coronavirus or cold virus, so you could be exposed to a different one and get sick.
‘So we’re still learning that. It really will be important information.’
Thousands of people in the US have already taken part in trials for antibody tests.
But Dr. Jen admitted that for a while, it will still be unclear how effective they are.
‘In order to ease up on the social distancing and kind of re-opening as we hear Dr. Fauci talk about, we need to be able to test people very quickly in 5 or 15 minutes and try to get an idea whether they’ve been exposed, whether they’ve recovered or whether they’re actually infected, just almost like a home pregnancy test, and that needs to be done quickly and it needs to be done accurately,’ she explained.
‘We don’t know how accurate those tests will be yet.’