WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden continued to test positive for COVID-19 On Monday, he will deal with a rebound infection, days after finishing his treatment with the home antiviral therapy Paxlovid.
Biden’s COVID-19 coordinator has emphasized that rebounds are usually not severe or common, although it’s not clear how common they are.
What we know about rebound infections
Rebound COVID-19 infections can occur as early as a few days after a negative test.
While it may seem “in Twitter world” that most people treated with Paxlovid had rebound infections, the actual rate is probably around 5%, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, Biden’s COVID Response Coordinator.
Most people don’t get tested as often as the president, Jha said in a series of tweets on Monday. Biden’s symptoms had not returned, but he continued to be tested “to be extra careful,” Jha said.
It is not clear whether a rebound after taking the antiviral Paxlovid is different from a rebound without the drug. In the trial that led to Paxlovid’s approval, 2% of those who took the medication and nearly the same percentage of those who didn’t experienced rebounds.
Catching a rebound infection is important in part because Biden could potentially be contagious. He has returned to isolation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that people who test positive for COVID-19 again after taking the drug Paxlovid should be isolated for another five days.
But Biden still needs to be protected from developing a serious illness, Jha said.
what they say
“Worth remembering: rebound largely does not lead to serious illness,” Jha tweeted Monday. “So rebound is not a Paxlovid failure.”
“The president is still feeling good at the start of his week,” said Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician, said in a statement Monday.
“Remembering that rebound is something that can happen, but is not a reason to avoid a treatment that has achieved the desired result — to prevent serious illness,” Dr. Leana Wen, professor of public health at George Washington University, tweeted.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden’s rebound COVID is not common but not serious, White House says