The One Symptom That Helped Neil Patrick Harris Realize He Had COVID

The actor says he realized it was the coronavirus when he started experiencing this symptom.

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Many celebrities have opened up about their COVID diagnoses since the start of the pandemic, from Alyssa Milano to Tom Hanks. But most recently, actor Neil Patrick Harris revealed that both he and his family had the coronavirus earlier this year. Talking candidly about his case, Harris said that this was the one symptom that actually made him realize he had the coronavirus: loss of smell and taste.

"It happened very early [in the pandemic], like late March, early April," Harris told TODAY during an interview on Sept. 15. "We were doing our best before, and I thought I had the flu, and I didn't want to be paranoid about it. And then I lost my sense of taste and smell, which was a big indicator, so we holed up."

Group of unrecognizable caucasian adults tasting wine in wine cellar. Comparing appearance, smell, aroma,taste,aftertaste. The man in focus is holding a glass of rose wine and smelling the bouquet. There are two more people in background,blurry.
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Harris' husband David Burtka and their 9-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper, all suffered from the virus about six months ago, as well, Harris revealed. Thankfully, he noted that they all "feel great" now.

"It was not pleasant, but we got through it and have antibodies and are feeling good," he said. "We want to make sure everyone's doing their best to slow this down every way possible, for sure."

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The loss of smell and taste have both been notable coronavirus symptoms for some time. In fact, many studies have reported on the prevalence of these symptoms since the start of the pandemic.

An early study published on April 17 in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology journal found that 98 percent of the hospitalized COVID patients they researched showed some loss of smell. And a May study of mild-to-moderate coronavirus patients had 86 percent reporting some kind of problem with their sense of smell, and 60 percent reporting trouble with their sense of taste.

These symptoms can also help be a clear indicator that someone has the coronavirus instead of the flu, as Harris noted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), loss of smell and taste are unique to the coronavirus and some of the only symptoms where the flu and COVID differ. And for more tell-tall coronavirus symptoms, If You Have These 4 Symptoms, Chances Are High You Have COVID.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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