COVID-19: What is a Paxlovid rebound?

Dr. Robert Wachter, professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, explained rebound to MNT.

“Rebound,” he said, “is the phenomenon of getting better from your COVID infection, both in terms of symptoms and your rapid test going from positive to negative, and then relapsing later — usually with both the return of symptoms and the return of a positive rapid test, which means that the amount of virus you’re carrying has increased.”

“It’s not entirely clear why it happens, but we think it’s mostly that the virus and your immune system are in a tug of war,” added dr. Wachter.

“Your immune system wins for a while — which is why you improve — and then the virus turns things around to take the lead. Eventually, your immune system kicks back in and, in virtually all cases, you improve again,” he noted.

Dr. Amesh Adajla, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health told us that “[i]t appears to be more frequently reported in the past several months [versus] earlier in the pandemic.”