"Looking back, I also realized that I was losing my sense of taste and smell, which I didn't realize at the time," Rita Wilson said

By Eric Todisco
April 14, 2020 11:08 AM
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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.”

Rita Wilson
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Hanks, meanwhile, had “milder symptoms” than his wife.

“He did not have as high a fever,” Wilson said of her actor husband, 63. “He did not lose his sense of taste or smell. But it still took us the same amount of time to get through it.”

Wilson said that she and Hanks still don’t know exactly when or how they contracted the virus. “It was somebody, they said, that Tom and I were both exposed to at the same time. We don’t know when that could have been or where. but all i can say is all our close contacts, family on our work team, no one has tested positive.”

Now that both stars are recovering, Wilson said that the couple is awaiting confirmation that their antibodies can help others infected with the virus.

“We recently had been part of a study where we donated our blood and we are waiting to hear back if our antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine,” she explained. “But also if we are able to donate plasma that can be used as donation to other people that are suffering from the virus because we are immune.”

tom hanks/instagram

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.