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Idris Elba tests positive for COVID-19

The actor said he discovered he had been exposed late last week.

British actor Idris Elba says he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The 47-year-old actor, known for his roles as Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DCI John Luther in the BBC Series "Luther," announced that he had tested positive for the new coronavirus on Twitter. 

'I'm doing ok," he said in a video. "I didn't have any symptoms. I got tested because I realized I was exposed to someone who had also tested positive." 

Elba found out he was exposed on Friday, March 13. He joins a growing list of notable names to have contracted the virus, including Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. 

Elba said his wife, Sabrina Dhowre had not been tested and was feeling healthy.

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"This is serious. Now is the time to really think about social distancing and washing your hands," he said. "Beyond that there are people out there who aren't showing symptoms and that can easily spread it," the actor added.

Elba said his family and colleagues had been notified of his test results and they were very supportive. He encouraged his fans to look out for one another. 

"We live in a divided world right now. We can all feel it. Now is the time for solidarity," he said. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The disease has infected more than 170,000 globally. The majority of people who have the virus will get better without any long-term effects, according to an Oregon doctor.  About 80% of cases tend to be mild. In these cases, symptoms diminish over five to seven days, although people are still capable of transmitting the disease. But there are many people with a higher risk of having a more severe disease if they are diagnosed with coronavirus, including those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other vascular disease problems. Also, most children who get it have mild symptoms.