Covid can rebound even in people who haven’t taken Paxlovid, study finds

In a study that wasn’t published yet, it was found that almost a third of people who took Covid had rebound symptoms, and 12 percent tested positive again, even if they had also taken Paxlovid.

A study published online on Tuesday found that about a third of people with Covid will have a return of their symptoms, even if they have been treated with the antiviral Paxlovid.
The preprint study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, found that 27 percent of people with Covid had their symptoms get worse again after they had gotten better at first.

“It happens very often. Dr. Davey Smith, chief of infectious diseases and global public health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and co-author of the study, said that people who aren’t treated with Covid but feel better afterward can get symptoms again. Still, Smith pointed out that the 27 percent number was higher than what anecdotal evidence had led him to expect.
The study also found that 12% of people with Covid had a “viral rebound,” which means they tested positive again after testing negative for a few days. This has been seen in people who took Paxlovid and is called “Paxlovid rebound.” However, the study found that viral rebound happened whether or not a person had taken the antiviral treatment.
Smith said that anyone who has had Covid could have symptoms come back, and those symptoms could be worse or not as bad as the first time. “It’s just how the infection can go in different ways on its own.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that untreated Covid patients could have their symptoms come back. When the agency sent a health alert to doctors in May about Paxlovid rebounds, it also said that “a brief return of symptoms may be part of the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in some people, regardless of treatment with Paxlovid or vaccination status.”
Symptoms coming and going is not something that only happens with Covid.

Dr. Paul Sax, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said, “In some ways, that’s the natural history of all respiratory viral infections.” “There are good days and bad days, but they always get better in the end.”
In recent weeks, rebounds from the antiviral drug Paxlovid have gotten a lot of attention. Both President Joe Biden and his top doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, tested positive for HIV after taking the drug for a few days.

In the clinical trial that Pfizer did on the drug, 1% to 2% of the people who took Paxlovid tested positive for the coronavirus even though they had tested negative before. In a fact sheet for doctors who prescribe Paxlovid, the company that made it said that this happened in the placebo group at about the same rate.
But even if someone has taken Paxlovid, it’s hard to say for sure if their rebound is because of the drug.
“It’s possible that if they hadn’t taken Paxlovid, they would have still tested positive in these last few days, but there wouldn’t have been a negative test in between. … Sax said, “This could just be a small change in how the illness has been going for them so far.
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Smith agreed: “Symptoms change, and the amount of viral antigen in the nose changes, both with and without Paxlovid.”
Dr. Albert Ko, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, said that the message is clear: Paxlovid is working, even if there are some rebound symptoms.
Ko said, “Paxlovid is doing what it’s supposed to do, which is to keep us from getting Covid that could kill us.” “Even though these bounces are happening, it keeps the bad things from happening.”
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