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Viral, Symptom Rebound Common After COVID-19 Infection

Incidence of symptom rebound was higher in the nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir treatment group

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 rebound is common, even among patients treated with nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (NPR), according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Jay A. Pandit, M.D., from the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, and colleagues compared the epidemiology of rebound in NPR-treated and untreated participants with acute COVID-19 infection who were clinically eligible for NPR in a prospective observational study. Participants were assigned to the treatment or control group (127 and 43 patients, respectively) based on their decision to take NPR and were asked to test with a rapid antigen test on a regular schedule for 16 days.

The researchers found that the incidence of viral rebound was 14.2 and 9.3 percent in the NPR treatment and control groups, respectively. The incidence of symptom rebound was higher in the treatment group than the control group (18.9 versus 7.0 percent). No notable differences were seen in viral rebound based on age, gender, preexisting conditions, or major symptom groups during the acute phase or at one month.

“We’re hoping to answer key questions about the rebound phenomenon, such as whether it’s enhanced by Paxlovid, how much it depends on the viral variant, and what is the role of the patient’s immune system,” Pandit said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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