Rita Wilson has said she felt ‘completely nauseous’, had achy muscles, vertigo, and couldn’t walk after taking chloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.
The opera singer-and-actress contracted COVID-19 at the same time as her husband Tom Hanks while they were working in Australia and were some of the first celebrities to reveal they had the disease.
Wilson recalled on CBS This Morning Tuesday that she felt very tired, extremely achy, uncomfortable and ‘didn’t want to be touched’, plus lost her sense of taste and smell while suffering with the symptoms.
But the side effects of chloroquine phosphate – an anti-malarial medication that has been dubbed a game-changer by President Trump – are much worse, according to Wilson.
Rita Wilson said her chloroquine treatment in Australia ‘had such extreme side effects’ after contracting coronavirus at the same time as husband Tom Hanks
‘I think people have to be very considerate of that drug,’ Wilson told Gayle King on CBS This Morning. ‘We don’t know if it’s helpful’
‘They gave me chloroquine,’ she said about suffering from fever of 102. ‘I know people have been talking about this drug. I can only tell you that I don’t know if the drug worked or it was just time for the fever to break.
‘My fever did break but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects. I was completely nauseous and I had vertigo. I could not walk. My muscles felt very weak. I think people have to be very considerate of that drug. We don’t know if it’s helpful.’
The drug kills malaria parasites in the blood, stopping the tropical disease in its tracks.
Tests of the drug – which has been used for 70 years – on COVID-19 patients in China show it has potential in fighting the life-threatening virus.
President Trump has touted the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin (antibiotic) combination.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has also repeatedly hailed the benefits of chloroquine and azithromycin without evidence. In reality, results of trials of hydroxychloroquine have been mixed.
A recent study in Brazil was stopped early after users developed heart arrhythmias.
President Trump has touted the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin (antibiotic) combination, calling it a gamechanger
Wilson, 63, said even though the couple contracted the illness at the same time – from someone they have not been able to identify – Hanks, also 63, had milder symptoms.
‘He didn’t have as high a fever, he didn’t lose his sense of taste or smell but still took us the same time to get through it,’ Wilson told CBS host Gayle King.
Now they are both feeling great and are trying to use the experience to help conquer coronavirus, which had infected more than 582,500 people in the US as of Tuesday afternoon.
Asked whether they couple knew whether they were immune to the strain now they have recovered, Wilson told King: ‘They told us and that’s what the belief is.’
‘Recently we have 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 and also if we’re able to donate plasma that can be used as donation to other people who are suffering from the virus because we are better,’ she added.
Wilson said she used music to help her overcome the brutal effects of the illness.
Wilson said Hanks had milder symptoms as he didn’t lose his sense of taste or smell and didn’t have as high a fever but it took them the same time to recover. Pictured, Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live on the night of April 11, as all the cast members appeared from home during the coronavirus crisis
Above shows the number of coronavirus deaths and cases in the US as of Tuesday morning
One of those moments was a hit on the internet and caught the attention of rap group Naughty By Nature. She said it took her a month to learn their track Hip Hop Hooray for scene in a movie called Boy Genius and described it as’ like learning a foreign language’.
The opera singer thought it would be a good test of her memory while recovering. ‘I just was sitting there in quarantine and I thought oh, maybe I should do this for a brain exercise and see if I still remember the lyrics,’ she explained.
‘I thought maybe if I just post this could it be something fun and show people that we’re okay and I think that made me feel really good is that naughty by nature had commented on it and said that they liked it and then this idea came up that we should do a remix of it.’
Wilson added: ‘Any time you stream it, that translates in to money and all of that money will go into MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.’
This past weekend, Hanks was also back to his craft.
The actor hosted Saturday Night Live as all the cast members appeared from home during the coronavirus crisis.
Wilson said she used music to help her overcome the brutal effects of the illness. She has remixed Hip Hop Hooray with Naughty By Nature, to raise money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHLOROQUINE
WHAT IS IT?
Chloroquine is an older version of an anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.
It’s also an immunosuppressive drug that may treat Lupus.
In this April 9 file photo, a chemist displays hydroxychloroquine tablets in New Delhi, India
It could have the power to stop coronavirus replicating in cells, and taking hold in the bodySARS-CoV-2 entry into cells in an in-vitro experiment.
It blocked SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells in an in-vitro experiment.
The malaria drug also believed to have antiviral activity.
It can be manufactured cheaply and is sold under the brand name Aralen.
In one small French study, some COVID-19 patients showed improvements but there was no way to know if the drug was the reason.
Results published in April from another study in France and one in China found no benefit in patients treated with the drug. Dozens more clinical studies are underway around the world.
Heart arrhythmias are a known side effect of chloroquine according to studies of malaria and autoimmune disorder patients.
One quarter of the 81 patients given 600mg of chloroquine in a Brazil coronavirus study developed heart arrhythmias and they may have been at greater risk of death.
Notably, the patients developing heart arrhythmias were being treated with a higher dose than is being used for most patients in the US.