CDC director tests positive for COVID-19 again after finishing round of Paxlovid
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has tested positive for COVID-19 again after completing a round of the antiviral treatment Paxlovid.
Walensky tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, going into self-isolation and taking “appropriate action” for his health.
On Monday, the CDC said Walensky had experienced “mild symptoms” during his infection and eventually tested negative for the virus after finishing one round of Paxlovid.
“On Sunday, Dr. Walensky began to develop mild symptoms and tested positive again. In accordance with CDC guidelines, he is isolating at home and participating virtually in his scheduled meetings,” the agency said.
This apparent case of Paxlovid rebound is not surprising. White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci and President Biden have tested positive for COVID-19 again after a round of Paxlovid.
A similar phenomenon was observed in the Merck and Ridgeback coronavirus antiviral molnupiravir. Resurgence of COVID-19 may also occur when antivirals are not administered.
When a recovery in the symptoms of COVID-19 after antiviral treatments was observed for the first time, it was hypothesized that it was due to insufficient exposure to the medicine. This hypothesis has led some actors to suggest courses of antivirals to last longer than the five days that are currently authorized by the CDC.
However, a small study conducted recently by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the rebound of COVID-19 may instead be caused by a “robust” immune response to “residual viral RNA” in the respiratory tract.
“The results do not support the hypothesis that the five-day course of Paxlovid is too short for the body to develop a strong immune response to SARS-CoV-2,” said the NIH.
– Updated at 3:48 pm
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