Rita Wilson Details Her Experience with Coronavirus: ‘I Had Chills Like I Never Had Before’

Rita Wilson is sharing all about her harrowing experience with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The 63-year-old actress and singer recently spoke to CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King in her first interview since she and husband Tom Hanks revealed last month they both tested positive for the deadly respiratory illness in Australia, where Hanks was shooting a film. They have since returned to Los Angeles after self-quarantining in Australia for two weeks.

Wilson, who is now recovering, recalled to King that she had unknowingly been showing symptoms of COVID-19 when she first felt ill.

“I was very tired,” Wilson 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.”

Wilson said that her fever “got close to about 102 by day nine.” This led doctors to give Wilson chloroquine, a Immunosuppressive drug that is typically used to treat malaria, according to MedlinePlus.


“I know people have been talking this drug, but i can only tell you that I don’t know if the drug worked or it was just time for the fever to break,” Wilson said.

“My fever did break, but the chloroquine had such extreme side affects,” she said. “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 know if it’s helpful in this case.”

Earlier this month, Wilson sang the National Anthem during NASCAR’s iRacing Pro Invitational Series Race, marking her first public performance after the diagnosis.

Hanks hosted the first-ever Saturday Night Live at Home episode this past weekend, during which he cracked many jokes about his experience with coronavirus.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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