3:47 PM PDT, June 29, 2022
Dr. Anthony Fauci has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in two weeks — an indicator of what’s known as “COVID-19 rebound.”
Fauci, 81, says he treated his first bout of the virus with Paxlovid, a prescription oral antiviral drug that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death for high-risk patients.
It worked at first, and Fauci tested negative. But then, it “reverted back to positive,” Fauci said.
“It’s sort of what people are referring to as a Paxlovid rebound. And over the next day or so, I started feeling really poorly — much worse than in the first go around — so I went back on Paxlovid,” Fauci said.
Fauci has now completed his second round of Paxlovid. He’s now on the upswing.
“Fortunately I feel reasonably good. I mean, I’m not completely without symptoms,” Fauci said.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning about the potential for COVID-19 rebound symptoms after taking Paxlovid, though the drug is still recommended for people who are considered high risk.
“If you’re older, if you have underlying illnesses, if you’re immune-compromised — those are the targeted people that, for the most part, get Paxlovid,” infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner said.
The CDC also noted that “a brief return of symptoms” may occur in some people “independent of treatment with Paxlovid and regardless of vaccination status.”
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, recovered in the past two weeks and then have recurrent symptoms or test positive again, you may be experiencing a rebound and should restart the recommended 5-day isolation period, according to guidance on the CDC website.
“You can end re-isolation after 5 days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your symptoms are improving. You should also wear a mask for 10 days after rebound,” the website states.