The Charmed actress took two COVID-19 tests and a finger-prick antibody test. All came back negative. Then she had blood work.

By Nick Romano
August 06, 2020 at 09:26 AM EDT
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Alyssa Milano is trying to spread the word about the coronavirus testing system in the United States after her own experience with COVID-19.

The Charmed and Melrose Place star, 47, shared how she contracted the novel coronavirus back in April, but she didn't realize what her symptoms really meant until she finally obtained the results of her antibody blood work.

"I had never been this kind of sick," Milano shared in a written message on Instagram. "Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible. I basically had every Covid symptom."

Milano wrote that she took two COVID-19 tests by the end of March and both tested negative. She then took a finger-prick antibody test. Also negative.

"After living the last 4 months with lingering symptoms like vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise, I went and got an antibody test from a blood draw (not the finger prick) from a lab," she recalled. "I am POSITIVE for covid antibodies. I had Covid19."

"I just want you to be aware that our testing system is flawed and we don’t know the real numbers," the actress continued. "I also want you to know, this illness is not a hoax. I thought I was dying. It felt like I was dying. I will be donating my plasma with hopes that I might save a life. Please take care of yourselves. Please wash your hands and wear a mask and social distance. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I felt."

Cases of COVID-19 in America have reached 4.75 million with more than 156,000 deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control. Many celebrities who contracted the respiratory illness have spoken out to shed light on the reality of the crisis as President Donald Trump continues to downplay the severity and reach of the virus.

Pitch Perfect star Anna Camp recently shared her experience, while Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actor Ice-T told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show about his father-in-law's hospital stay for COVID-19-prompted pneumonia. Both emphasized how this is still a problem.

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.

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