Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson donate blood for coronavirus vaccine development

Couple have been told they are now immune to Covid-19

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 22 April 2020 14:10 BST
Tom Hanks' wife Rita Wilson describes 'extreme' side effects of chloroquine during coronavirus recovery

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have donated their blood as part of a study to see whether their antibodies can help develop a vaccine for coronavirus.

The couple tested positive for Covid-19 in March. They have now fully recovered and been told they are immune to the virus.

Wilson shared the news in her first interview since she became ill, telling CBS This Morning’s Gayle King that she and Hanks are “waiting to hear back to see if our antibodies will be helpful in creation of vaccine” and if they can donate plasma.

She also discussed her symptoms, revealing she was "very tired, extremely achy, uncomfortable, didn't want to be touched", had a fever, got chills and lost her sense of taste and smell.

Hanks, she said, did not have as high of a fever and did not lose his sense of taste and smell.

Wilson added that she was given the controversial drug chloroquine, which has been touted by Donald Trump and others as effective treatments against the virus.

While she was not sure whether the drug helped her recover or not, Wilson said she had "extreme side effects" after taking it, including being "completely nauseous," having vertigo, and her muscles becoming weak.

"We have to be very considerate about this drug," Wilson said. "We don't know if it's safe in this case."

Wilson said she and Hanks were told they contracted the virus from someone they were both exposed to at the same time, but they don't know where or when that occurred.

None of their close family members or professional teams have tested positive for coronavirus.

Last week, Hanks surprised Saturday Night Live viewers when he stepped in as the host of a special at-home episode. He said: “Ever since being diagnosed, I have been more like America’s dad than ever before.”

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