What is ‘rebound’ COVID?

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:38 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden is back in isolation Monday after testing positive for COVID again.

There are new questions about the CDC’s isolation guidance and whether it’s long enough.

Rebound COVID-19 can sometimes happen with people who are treated with the drug Paxlovid in the early days of their infection, as is the case with President Biden.

But the CDC warned this could happen.

Doctors said the first six days of infection are when the virus is replicating rapidly, which is why they recommend antiviral drugs like Paxlovid.

Back in May, the CDC said COVID-19 rebound can happen between two and eight days after the initial recovery period.

But doctors said if you have rebound COVID, it doesn’t necessarily mean you got COVID again, it’s just that your initial infection was suppressed.

“We recommend starting these antivirals like Paxlovid in the first two to three days and that squashes the virus down and the idea is that you give the immune system enough time to recognize it was there, especially in somebody who’s vaccinated and boosted and then the immune system would take over almost like a hand-off from the Paxlovid to the immune system. And again about 5% of the cases, that hand-off is fumbled at least temporarily, and the virus can creep back because the immune system hasn’t quite engaged yet,” said Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Michael Saag.

Doctors said it’s unclear how contagious patients with rebound COVID are, but the CDC said if you have a recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms, or a new positive COVID test, you should restart isolation and isolate for at least five days.

You should also wear a mask for a total of 10 days after rebound symptoms started.


Subscribe to our WBRC newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email.

Copyright 2022 WBRC. All rights reserved.