Rita Wilson has revealed she and Tom Hanks have donated their blood to a study in the hopes antibodies they may have acquired after recovering from COVID-19 could be useful in helping create a potential vaccine.
In her first interview since the couple revealed they had beaten the coronavirus, the 63-year-old warmed hearts when she spoke about how the couple have been trying to give back and help others in an effort to find a cure.
"We recently have been part of a study where we've donated our blood and we're waiting to hear back about if our antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine, but also if we are able to donate plasma that can be used [for] other people who are suffering from the virus because we are immune," she told Gayle King on CBS This Morning on April 14.
.@RitaWilson tells @GayleKing she took #chloroquine to treat COVID-19: I can only tell you that I don't know if the drug worked or it was just time for the fever to break. My fever did break but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects... We don't really know if it's helpful pic.twitter.com/8xej1NyhaQ
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 14, 2020
The star also spoke about what it was like to have the illness. She detailed some of her symptoms in the hopes her experience may help others who think they may be infected.
"I was very tired," she said. "I felt extremely achy, uncomfortable, didn't want to be touched, and then the fever started. Chills like I've never had before. Looking back, I also realized that I was losing my sense of taste and smell, which I didn't realize at the time."
The Sleepless in Seattle star said her fever got as high as 102 degrees Fahrenheit by day nine. She also said while the couple were being treated in Australia, doctors gave her chloroquine. This is a medication primarily used to treat and prevent malaria that some have said may be useful in treating COVID-19. However, health experts now say it has safety considerations and risks, including a potential to cause heart issues.
Rita said the side effects she had from the medication were extreme.
"I know people have been talking about this drug, but I can only tell you that I don't know if the drug worked or if it was just time for the fever to break," she said. "My fever did break, but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects. I was completely nauseous, and I had vertigo. I could not walk, and my muscles felt very weak.
"I think people have to be very considerate about that drug. We don't really know if it's helpful in this case."
Tom, she said, had milder symptoms. His fever was not as high and he didn't lose his sense of taste or smell. That said, she stressed they both took the same amount of time to recover from COVID-19. She also said she's pretty sure she knows how they acquired the illness.
"It was somebody they said who Tom and I were exposed to at the same time," she said. "We don't know when that could've been or where, but all I can say is all of our close contacts – family, on our work team – no one has tested positive."
Tom returned to showbiz on April 11, when he guest-hosted Saturday Night Live from his kitchen. Rita has also just recorded a remix of Naughty by Nature's "Hiphop Hooray" that will benefit COVID-19 relief. She got in touch with the rap group after a video of her performing the hit went viral during her recovery in March.
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It's out!! Our remix of @naughtybynature4ever's "Hip Hop Hooray" is available everywhere and with a fun VIDEO we made. All proceeds from streaming will be donated to the @musicares COVID-19 Relief Fund. Streaming = donating!! Stream and you raise money!! Let’s do this! Link in bio to listen & watch! https://youtu.be/zoexehHI6gg
"Anytime you stream it, that translates into money, and all of that money will go into the MusiCares COVID-19 relief fund," she said.
"Music is healing, so if something is giving someone comfort or peace, I'm thankful to be a part of it."
We're very happy to see Tom and Rita have recovered and that they're still working to help find a cure for the illness!
As of this writing, the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine says there have been nearly 2 million cases of COVID-19 confirmed in 185 countries and regions. More than 465,000 people have recovered from the illness so far, which has caused nearly 122,000 deaths worldwide.
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