Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson Test Positive for Coronavirus in Australia

The virus has infected people in at least 100 countries

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Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are isolated in stable condition in an Australian hospital Thursday after contracting the new coronavirus, the actor and Australian officials said.

In an Instagram post, the actor said he and his wife, both 63, were down under in Australia when they began to experience fatigue, chills and slight fevers, which are all symptoms of the COVID-19 disease caused by the new virus.

"To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive," Hanks wrote. "We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires."

Hanks said he would keep the world posted on their conditions as they self-isolate and take a "one-day-at-a-time approach."

Australian officials said the couple were being treated at a Queensland hospital. “We wish them a very speedy recovery," state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters.

Hanks had been in Australia shooting an untitled Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann. Hanks plays Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The film, slated for release in October 2021, has suspended production, Warner Bros. said.

Hanks, after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes this year, spoke backstage about taking on the Parker role. “I will then finally have an answer to all these stupid questions about why I never played a bad guy,” he said as the room burst into laughter.

Hanks and Wilson were married in 1988. In 2013, Hanks disclosed he has Type 2 diabetes.

Chet Hanks later posted on social media that his parents were doing fine and thanked fans for their concern.

Wilson had performed at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday night and earlier last week in Brisbane.

Queensland health authorities would not give specifics on their health due to privacy issues. But the state's update on its coronavirus infections describe a U.S. couple of their age both in stable condition.

Palaszczuk said people who had been in close contact with Hanks and Wilson will have to self-quarantine but she cautioned that people who had taken selfies with Hanks recently should not panic about contracting the virus.

She said she had spoken to Luhrmann and conveyed his reassurances that he would comply with the government's health restrictions.

Australia has more than 120 reported cases of the coronavirus and three deaths.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S. would suspend travel from Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom, for 30 days to curb the spread of coronavirus. After Trump's address, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the restrictions only apply to foreign nationals and not U.S. citizens, green card holders or the family of U.S. citizens. He also called on Congress to provide Americans payroll tax relief.

It's unclear if Hanks and Wilson are the first celebrities to test positive for the virus.

"Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe previously refuted claims that he was the first celebrity to contract the coronavirus after a hoax tweet — shared by a fake BBC account — began circulating, TODAY reported.

So far, over 125,000 cases of the virus have been reported in at least 100 countries. More than 4,600 people have died.

Symptoms for the COVID-19 disease can include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

While the disease belongs to the same coronavirus family as the common cold and shares similarities with the flu, COVID-19 differs from these other viruses in subtle ways.

NBC/The Associated Press
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