Ellen DeGeneres Reveals the "One Thing They Don't Tell You" About COVID

The talk show host said she experienced this "excruciating" symptom.

Last week, Ellen DeGeneres revealed to fans that she had tested positive for COVID-19. On Wednesday evening, the talk show host gave a health update, opening up about an unusual symptom of the virus that nobody warned her about. Read on to hear more about DeGeneres' experience with the virus, and for another symptom to be aware of, check out This Strange Pain Could Be the First Sign You Have COVID, Study Says.

In the video posted on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook on Dec. 16, DeGeneres began: "Hi everybody, just saying thank you to all the well wishes out there. I appreciate it very much." The 62-year-old talk show host added, "I am feeling 100 percent. I feel really good."

But, she said one symptom has been the most challenging of all. "One thing that they don't tell you is that you get, somehow, excruciating back pain," she added. "Didn't know that was a symptom but I talked to some other people…Who knew? How come? Back pain. Bad."

While back pain is not specifically listed as a symptom of COVID-19 on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website, "muscle or body aches" is one of the primary manifestations of the virus in addition to fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

DeGeneres isn't the only star who has opened up about unusual COVID-19 symptoms. Here are other strange symptoms reported by celebrities, and for another star's update, check out "DWTS" Judge Carrie Ann Inaba Shares Intense COVID Symptoms.

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa milano with breathing machine due to COVID
Alyssa Milano via Twitter

Alyssa Milano was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, but her initial infection was only the beginning of her health struggles. In August, she returned to the hospital experiencing "real heaviness" in her chest, she tweeted. The next day, she revealed in a video on Twitter that she also was experiencing significant hair loss as a result of her infection—even months after her "recovery." Milano is just one of many people who are considered COVID long haulers, experiencing symptoms for several months after their initial infection. And for more long-lasting effects of the virus, check out Women Are More Likely to Have This Long-Term COVID Symptom, Study Says.


Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Rapper Jeremih, 33, was hospitalized with COVID-19 in November where he was hooked up to a ventilator fighting for his life. "I had the tube down my throat for about a week and a half," he revealed on Dec. 15 during an appearance on Sway in the Morning. "I was really, like, in a dream. And I ain't gonna lie, I woke up about two times and all I remember is just seeing a white light."

During his hospitalization, Jeremih was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, "a rare case of cause and effect of COVID," he explained. "All my organs became inflamed. My heart went out, stopped beating and started beating irregularly. My kidneys went out. My liver started … to go bad." Eventually, he was moved out of the ICU, and had to re-learn daily functions. "I had to learn how to walk again, eat, all that stuff," he revealed. And for more odd symptoms to be aware of, check out If You Notice These 3 Strange Symptoms, You May Have COVID, Study Says.

Lena Dunham

lena dunham wearing a mask amid covid
Lena Dunham via Instagram

Lena Dunham detailed her COVID-19 health struggles on Instagram in July. The Girls star revealed that she was infected with the virus in mid-March, experiencing fatigue, numbness, fever, a cough, and a loss of taste and smell.

However, once the initial infection had subsided, some of the symptoms lingered. "I had swollen hands and feet, an unceasing migraine and fatigue that limited my every move," she wrote on Instagram. "The serious long-term health consequences of a COVID-19 infection are something doctors are learning more about every hour…but we don't yet understand the long-term impact of this illness on people's bodies and minds." And for more ways to suss out your symptoms, check out This Is How to Tell If Your Cough Is COVID, Doctors Say.

Anna Camp

anna camp wearing a mask amid covid
Anna Camp via Instagram

Pitch Perfect star Anna Camp revealed to fans in July that she had been battling COVID-19 symptoms for a month. "I'm only smelling about 30 percent of how I used to now," she wrote in a lengthy Instagram. "Other persistent symptoms are (a month later) dizziness, extreme fatigue, impacted sinuses, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and fever." And for more regular updates on COVID, sign up for our daily newsletter.


Pink Jameson

Pink announced via Twitter on April 3 that she tested positive for coronavirus two weeks prior. "This illness is serious and real," she wrote. "People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor." During an Instagram Live chat on April 5, she also revealed that her son, Jameson, also battled his own infection. "Jameson has been really, really sick," she said. "I've kept a journal of his symptoms for the past three weeks and mine as well. He still, three weeks later, has a 100 temperature. It's been a rollercoaster for both of us, but Carey [Hart] and [their daughter] Willow have been perfectly fine." And for more ways to determine if you've caught the virus, check out If You Have These 2 Subtle Symptoms, There's a Good Chance You Have COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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