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President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again. What to know about rebound cases

Charlotte Observer - 8/1/2022

After testing negative early last week, President Joe Biden is isolating once again while experiencing a rebound case of COVID-19.

Despite testing positive for a second time in under two weeks, the President “continues to feel well,” White House physician Kevin O’Connor confirmed in a letter on Sunday.

When he first tested positive on July 21, Biden experienced mild symptoms, including runny nose, fatigue and high temperature, CNN reported. He also completed a five-day course of Paxlovid, a drug used to treat COVID-19 symptoms that is available for people 12 and older who are at high risk of severe illness.

Some people who complete Paxlovid treatment can test positive for COVID-19 and experience symptoms in what is known as “COVID-19 rebound,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden had six close contacts before testing positive on Saturday, but none of those contacts have since contracted the virus, CNN reported.

Here’s what to know about COVID-19 rebound, and what to do if you experience it.

What is COVID-19 rebound?

COVID-19 rebound has been reported in patients two to eight days after recovery from the virus and is “characterized by a recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms or a new positive viral test after having tested negative,” according to a health alert issued by the CDC in May.

Returning symptoms could be due to the “natural history” of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and is not necessarily linked to Paxlovid treatment or vaccination status, according to the CDC.

Limited information suggests that people treated with Paxlovid who experience COVID-19 rebound have had mild symptoms, but there have been no reports of severe illness, the CDC said.

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What to do if you experience COVID-19 rebound

If you experience COVID-19 rebound, you should follow the CDC’s guidance by isolating for at least five days after the recurrence of symptoms or a new positive COVID-19 test.

You can stop isolation after five days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, but the CDC suggests wearing a high-quality mask around others for at least 10 days after symptoms begin.

If your symptoms worsen, you should contact your healthcare provider and consult with them about possible treatment options, according to the CDC.

People who experience COVID-19 rebound after being treated with Paxlovid are encouraged to report it using the Pfizer Safety Reporting tool.

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