Biden tests negative for COVID after ‘rebound,’ will isolate until confirmed

President Joe Biden examined negative for COVID-19 on Saturday after a “rebound” case of the virus, however will proceed isolating until he receives one other negative check, his physician mentioned.

“Strict isolation measures” will proceed “in an abundance of caution,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote in a day by day replace posted by the White House.

Biden—who initially examined constructive July 21, after per week of touring throughout the Middle East—examined negative for the virus on July 26 and 27, when he ended his isolation.

He moreover examined negative July 28 and July 29 earlier than testing constructive once more July 30, based on a letter from O’Connor to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

‘Rebound COVID,’ Paxlovid and in any other case

Biden was handled with the COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid the day he was identified, based on a number of information shops. It’s a capsule authorized for therapy of COVID-19 in high-risk adults just like the aged, having acquired emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

But the drug is thought for “rebound” instances, referred to by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “a brief return of symptoms.”

Such rebounds, nonetheless, can occur with or with out Paxlovid, Andy Pekosz, virologist on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, just lately advised Fortune.

“It’s not uncommon for people to have a positive test a few days after a negative test with COVID-19,” he mentioned. “What I think people are more focused on these days is if this may be a Paxlovid rebound, meaning he’ll have a recurrence of the virus.”

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that COVID rebounds are uncommon, they could possibly be extra frequent than we all know, as most people with COVID cease testing after they obtain a negative outcome.

“The White House does a very good job of testing people on a daily basis,” Pekosz mentioned. “They’re much more likely to catch some of these rare things with that level of frequency.”

The president’s rebound constructive check was an antigen, or speedy, check, O’Connor wrote. Antigen tests are superior in terms of gauging whether or not or not somebody is shedding stay virus and, subsequently, infectious, Pekosz mentioned, including {that a} constructive antigen check is “probably a good reason to go back into isolation.”

Fauci’s Paxlovid rebound

When identified with COVID in June, chief presidential medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci was prescribed the antiviral as a result of his superior age, which put him at better danger for a extreme end result from COVID, regardless of being totally vaccinated and twice boosted.

Fauci later mentioned he had skilled a Paxlovid rebound.

“After I finished the five days of Paxlovid, I reverted to negative on an antigen test for three days in a row,” Fauci, 81, mentioned throughout an occasion at Foreign Policy’s Global Health Forum, Bloomberg reported. “And then on the fourth day, just to be absolutely certain, I tested myself again.”

“I reverted back to positive.”

Fauci later advised the New York Times that Paxlovid saved him out of the hospital and stopped his an infection from turning into extra extreme initially, saying, “Paxlovid did what it was supposed to do.”

Fauci started a second course of Paxlovid when signs emerged “much worse than the first go-around,” he mentioned. In May the CDC issued a well being advisory about such rebounds, saying there was no proof that further therapy is required for rebound instances.

In June, Pfizer, which manufactures Paxlovid, introduced that it might cease including new contributors to a trial of the drug amongst COVID sufferers at low danger of hospitalization and demise. The examine didn’t reveal that the drug lowered signs, or hospitalizations and deaths, in a statistically important approach, based on Bloomberg.

But Paxlovid could also be undeservedly gaining a foul rap, Pekosz cautioned.

“I’ll still point to the fact that it’s working in terms of keeping people out of the hospital—that’s the most important thing right now,” he mentioned, including that it might have to be retooled to higher handle Omicron subvariants.

How lengthy to quarantine?

The CDC presently advises COVID-positive people to quarantine for 5 days earlier than returning to regular life (and masking in public for a further 5 days). The really helpful isolation time was 10 days until December, when the federal well being company halved it.

But “there is not data to support five days or anything shorter than 10 days,” Amy Barczak, a doctor on the Massachusetts General Hospital Infectious Disease Division, just lately advised Nature.

Some scientists have questioned the rationale behind the coverage for the reason that CDC launched it late final yr. And now critics have extra information to again up their claims: Viral shedding can happen past 10 days in even wholesome, vaccinated adults, based on a preprint out of London revealed this month.

Some scientists advise that folks cease quarantining solely as soon as they check negative utilizing at-home tests, relatively than counting on the CDC’s five-day rule alone.

Biden did so, nonetheless, testing negative at 5 after which six days after an infection earlier than ending his isolation. The White House had mentioned that Biden would go “above and beyond” the CDC’s five-day steerage and wait until he examined negative earlier than returning to public life.

He apparently wasn’t anticipating a rebound.

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