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The link between Paxlovid and a 'COVID-19 rebound' case

More cases of "COVID-19 rebound" are being reported, which is typically seen after treatment with Paxlovid.

YORK, Pa. — More cases of people testing positive for COVID-19, just a few days after a negative test, are being reported across the country. 

These cases have been named COVID-19 rebounds and are being reported frequently after treatment with Paxlovid. 

The most well-known and recent case of a COVID-19 rebound is President Joe Biden.

“It’s typically when you’re given a drug called Paxlovid. You feel better on the drug, your COVID-19 viral load goes down, and often you test negative, but when you stop the Paxlovid, then you have an often mild recurrence in symptoms. If you do a home antigen test, that antigen test can convert from being negative to positive," said Dr. John Goldman with UPMC. 

"It mainly is being seen in patients taking the five-day course of Paxlovid, they feel better and then start to feel worse," said Dr. Raghavendra Tirupathi with Wellspan.

A rebound case has been reported to occur between two and eight days after initial recovery.

However, not everyone who takes Paxlovid will experience a COVID-19 rebound. Experts want to emphasize that the drug still works in preventing hospitalization and even death. 

“Paxlovid does decrease your risk further down for bad outcomes, so the rebound should not be a cause for not taking Paxlovid," said Dr. Tirupathi. 

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