COVID-19 'rebound' reported after taking antiviral pill; CDC says drug still beneficial

Posted at 6:36 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 07:56:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As new COVID-19 cases rise, Paxlovid is being prescribed to try to keep high-risk patients out of the hospital. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of a potential "COVID-19 rebound" after a five-day course of the treatment.

Among unvaccinated people at high risk for severe disease, it reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by nearly 90%, according to the CDC.

The antiviral pill is being prescribed to try to keep high-risk patients out of the hospital, but the rebound has been reported to occur two to eight days later.

Pfizer, the maker of Paxlovid, is not changing its dosage guidelines. Officials said they’re currently seeing a rebound rate of about 2%, but are continuing to monitor patients.

If COVID-19 does return, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said to retest, and if you're positive, start isolation protocol.

"We haven't yet seen anybody who has returned with symptoms needing to go to the hospital. So generally a milder course," said Walensky.

Right now, scientists are trying to find out why this is happening, but a small study suggested the symptoms are coming from the same virus and not a new infection.