The condition drew international attention last week when US President Joe Biden tested positive for the virus six days after testing negative following his first bout with the disease.

The White House said Biden, who is back in solitary confinement, suffered from a “wet cough” but did not have a fever and his lungs were “clear”.
The president tested positive again after being treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid. White House officials had previously suggested a rebound Covid case was unlikely, based on case reports across the country, but Biden’s doctors continued to monitor his health and test him.

White House Covid response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha said clinical data shows the rate of rebound infections is low and noted that even those who suffer from them are still generally protected from serious illness.

Biden is not the only high profile patient to develop the disease. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, also experienced the Covid-19 rebound. Unlike Biden, his symptoms worsened when they returned from treatment with Paxlovid, and his doctors prescribed further treatment with the drug.

Experts have called for more systematic research into rebound cases to understand who is most at risk and whether the standard five-day course of Paxlovid needs to be extended to prevent it.

Studies have shown that people can pass the infection on to others when rebounding, which is another reason to try to understand it better.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert to doctors in May about the potential for Covid-19 to rebound, saying symptoms sometimes recur, and that may be how the infection shows up in some people, whether they are vaccinated or treated with drugs like Paxlovid.

The CDC said most cases of rebound involve mild disease and that Paxlovid “continues to be recommended for the early-stage treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in people at high risk for progression to severe disease.” “.

Pfizer, the company that makes Paxlovid, said its studies showed that rebounds were rare and occurred in both people taking the drug and those taking a placebo pill. Because investigators noted the phenomenon in both groups, the company does not believe it is drug-related.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.

Q: How does Paxlovid work?

A: Considered a game-changer when cleared in December due to its strong performance in reducing the risk of severe Covid-19, Paxlovid – in combination with vaccines and boosters – is seen as one of the best ways to protect people at high risk of serious illness.

The drug suppresses the coronavirus, blocking an enzyme that helps it reproduce inside the body.

As with all antivirals, treatment is thought to work best if started within five days of the first symptoms appearing.

Clinical trials of Paxlovid have shown that it reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 88% when given within five days of the onset of symptoms.

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READINGS OF THE WEEK

Most US public schools plan to keep masks optional for start of class

Pupils are heading into another school year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but this time there seems to be less talk and less worry about masks and other mitigation measures – despite an increase in infections Across the country.

Most of the largest public school districts in the United States do not require masks for the new school year, making masking optional when students return to class and the highly transmissible BA.5 subvariant spreads.

Dr Sanjay Gupta: Are we making the same mistakes?

The pandemic, which has gripped the United States and almost every other country, should have taught us valuable lessons about how to handle a public health emergency. But it looks like we’re making some of the same mistakes with the monkeypox virus that we made just three years ago when the SARS-CoV-2 virus started spreading.

Screening for monkeypox, once very limited, is now more available, but underutilized. The demand for vaccines exceeds the supply. There are nearly 2 million courses of the highly effective antiviral TPOXX sitting in strategic national stockpile, but many healthcare providers are still struggling to get the drugs to their patients.

Currently, only 336,710 doses have been shipped to the states. Ordering has just started for approximately 800,000 additional doses. That rarity has created long lines in monkeypox hotspots like New York, which has the highest number of cases in the country.

Updated Covid-19 booster shots could be available in September

Updated Moderna and Pfizer booster shots to target Omicron coronavirus subvariants may be available in the United States in early fall, pending approval from federal health agencies, the U.S. Department said on Friday. of Health and Social Services.

The US Food and Drug Administration advised vaccine makers in June to update boosters to add an Omicron BA.4/5 component and create a bivalent booster that would work for two different strains.

“Pfizer and Moderna have indicated that they expect the modified vaccines to be available as early as September,” an FDA spokesperson said.

SUPERIOR COUNCIL

Many children will soon return to school, while coronavirus cases are still high.

Parents and caregivers have a lot of questions about what precautions to take. Do children have to wear masks again? How often should families test children? What happens if their children contract Covid-19? How long should they stay out of school? CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen answers the most pressing questions.

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