Alyssa Milano shared details of the COVID-19 symptoms she experienced four months ago when she was ill.
On Wednesday, the Melrose Place alum, 47, revealed on Instagram that she recently tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, despite testing negative for the virus in March when she "basically had every COVID symptom."
Milano wrote she "couldn’t keep food in me," which she said caused her to lose 9 lbs. in 2 weeks.
"Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe," she wrote alongside a photo of herself from April using what appears to be a breathing machine.
"I was confused. Low grade fever," she continued. "And the headaches were horrible."
Milano explained that she had tested negative for coronavirus twice at the end of March and received a negative result in her COVID-19 antibody test — which was performed with a finger prick — after she was "feeling a bit better."
However, the actress continued to experience "lingering symptoms," which she described as "vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise."
After Milano decided to take another antibody test at a lab where blood is drawn, the star learned she had COVID-19 antibodies.
"I also want you to know, this illness is not a hoax. I thought I was dying. It felt like I was dying," she said.
The actress told her followers that she will be donating her plasma in the future "with hopes that I might save a life."
"Please take care of yourselves. Please wash your hands and wear a mask and social distance," she told fans. "I don’t want anyone to feel the way I felt. Be well. I love you all (well, maybe not the trolls. Just the kind people.) ❤️."
Testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies indicates that a person has been exposed to the novel coronavirus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the antibody tests currently available may not be accurate and should not be used to determine if someone is immune to COVID-19.
As of Thursday, there have been at least more than 4,832,400 cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 158,500 deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses, according to The New York Times database.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.
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