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Ellen DeGeneres has severe back pain since COVID diagnosis

Ellen DeGeneres announced last week that she had

Ellen DeGeneres announced last week that she had tested positive for COVID-19. Credit: AP / Richard Shotwell

Ellen DeGeneres, whose daytime talk show is on production hiatus until January while she recuperates from COVID-19, says she appears to be recovering but is suffering "excruciating" back pain.

"Hi, everybody. Just saying thank you to all the well wishes out there," the 62-year-old Daytime Emmy Award winner said in a social-media video Wednesday, her voice thin. "I appreciate it very much. I'm feeling 100 percent. I feel really good," she assured.

"One thing that they don't tell you is you get, somehow, excruciating back pain," she continued. "Didn't know that that was a symptom, but I talked to some other people: Back pain. Who knew? How come? Back pain. Bad."

Sitting on a couch, the comedian then played a quick round of the Hasbro tabletop game Connect 4 with her wife, Portia de Rossi, who was off-screen.

While back pain is not one of the standard COVID-19 symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that federal agency does list generalized "muscle or body aches" alongside the more typical "fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache [and] new loss of taste or smell," among others.

The website has reported that a self-described "relatively healthy and pretty fit" 27-year-old had contracted the virus and, after appearing to recover, began experiencing debilitating chest and back pain that has continued for more than 6 months. "Most people believe that if you're young and you get it, you'll have a cold and then you'll be fine, but that's anything from the truth," the woman, Elissa Miolene, told the site.

DeGeneres on Dec. 10 had announced, "I tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, I'm feeling fine right now. Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified, and I am following all proper CDC guidelines." She did not indicate how she might have contracted the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

A representative for Telepictures, her syndicated show's production company, confirmed to Newsday in a statement that day, "Following Ellen's announcement this morning, we have paused production on ['The Ellen DeGeneres Show'] until January."

On Oct. 28, in a sign of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic, the program began welcoming a live audience again at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, selecting 40 people daily from a backlog of 4,000 previously scheduled fans. The in-person audience, which was required to adhere to the show's COVID-19 safety protocols, joined the 70 virtual audience members that had been appearing via remote video for several weeks.

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