Rita Wilson opens up on ‘extreme side effects’ from coronavirus treatment


In her first TV interview since contracting the virus, Rita Wilson shared new details about battling coronavirus, alongside her husband Tom Hanks, with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King.

While the 63-year-old actress and singer said she’s now feeling “great”, more than a month after testing positive in early March, she explains that the treatment process was a gruelling experience.

Read More: Tom Hanks attempts an Aussie accent as he hosts ‘Saturday Night Live at Home’

The actress revealed she was given chloroquine, a drug that has been used to prevent and treat malaria that is being studied as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

“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 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. I had vertigo. I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak.”

The now healthy couple returned home last month. Photo: AP

Rita Wilson later cautioned that people need to be considerate with the drug, saying, “we don’t really know if it’s helpful in this case.”

Speaking with Gayle King, the Greek American actress says that she suffered worse symptoms than her husband, yet both recovered around the same time.

Read More: American actor Tom Hanks says Greek life is “just the best life one can have”

“I was very tired. I felt extremely achy,” Wilson told King.

“Uncomfortable, didn’t want to be touched and then the fever started. Chills like I’ve never had before. Looking back, I realise I was also losing my sense of taste and smell which I didn’t realise at the time.”

“He (Tom Hanks) didn’t have as high of a fever. He did not lose his sense of taste or smell, but it still took us the same time to get through it,” she said.

In a Saturday Night Live performance last week, Hanks thanked healthcare, delivery, grocery and other frontline workers who have been working tirelessly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.




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