Covid Rebound: Symptoms can recur even in people who have not taken Paxlovid

What is rebound Covid? Covid symptoms can return for nearly a third of people and 12% will test positive again, study finds.

Around a third of people with Covid will experience a rebound of their symptoms, regardless of whether they’ve been treated with the antiviral Paxlovid, according to a study posted online Tuesday.

The preprint study — meaning it hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal  — found that 27% of people with Covid saw a rebound in their symptoms after they had initially improved. 

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“It happens all the time. People who are untreated with Covid who then feel better can get symptoms afterward,” said study co-author Dr. Davey Smith, chief of infectious diseases and global public health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Still, Smith noted that the 27% finding was higher than what he’d expected based on anecdotal evidence. 

The study also found that 12% of people with Covid had a “viral rebound,” meaning they tested positive again several days after testing negative. This has been documented among people who have taken Paxlovid and is referred to as Paxlovid rebound, but the study found that viral rebound occurred regardless of whether a person had taken the antiviral treatment.

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