Actress and singer Rita Wilson says she and her husband Tom Hanks, both now recovered from COVID-19, had contracted the disease from the same unknown source.
"It was somebody, they said, that Tom and I were both exposed to at the same time," Wilson, 63, explained Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." "We don't know when that could have been or where. But all I can say is [of] all of our close contacts — family, [people] on our work team — no one has tested positive."
Wilson and two-time Oscar winner Hanks, also 63, were in Australia for work reasons when they announced on March 11 that they had contracted the virus. "I was very tired, I felt extremely achy, uncomfortable, didn't want to be touched, and then the fevers started — chills like I've never had before," Wilson said Tuesday, describing her symptoms. "Looking back, I also realized that I was losing my sense of taste and smell, which I didn't realize at the time."
Hanks, she said, "had milder symptoms." While Wilson's temperature had spiked to 102 degrees, "He didn't have as high a fever, he did not lose his sense of taste or smell. But it still took us the same time to get through" it.
The couple had been treated with the antimalarial drug chloroquine, a close chemical relative to the more commonly used hydroxychloroquine, both of which have proved controversial as possible COVID-19 treatments due to side effects and to questions about efficacy. "I was completely nauseous and I had vertigo," Wilson said. "I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak. … We don't really know if it's safe in this case."
Doctors believe that she and Hanks are now immune from the disease, she said, adding, "We've recently been part of a study where we donated our blood, and we're waiting to hear back if our antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine but also if we are able to donate plasma" that may potentially help others who contract the virus.
Wilson additionally addressed her viral video last month, in which she rapped along to Naughty by Nature's 1993 hit "Hip Hop Hooray." She and the group have teamed up for a streaming remix that benefits the charitable foundation MusiCares' COVID-19 Relief Fund
The genesis of her initial social-media video, she said, came from her 2019 movie "Boy Genius." "This character that I played gets to sing 'Hip Hop Hooray.' It took me a month to learn that song … because it is so intricate — it's like learning foreign rhythms, foreign languages. I had to go into the urban-slang dictionary to learn what certain things meant!" she said cheerfully. While self-isolating with Hanks in Australia, "I thought, 'Oh, maybe I should do this for a brain exercise and see if I still remember the lyrics.' I thought, 'Well, maybe if I just post this it could be something fun and show people that we're OK.' "