Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, has tested positive for coronavirus two weeks after initially testing positive and getting treatment with Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid.
The 81-year-old Fauci first caught coronavirus two weeks ago, on June 15. After that, Fauci’s doctors prescribed him Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid due to age putting him at risk of developing complications.
After finishing his five-day treatment of Paxlovid, Fauci tested negative for coronavirus for three days in a row, but on the fourth day, he again tested positive.
“After I finished the five days of Paxlovid, I reverted to negative on an antigen test for three days in a row,” Fauci said on Tuesday. “And then on the fourth day, just to be absolutely certain, I tested myself again. I reverted back to positive.”
The CDC reportedly told health officials across the country to watch out for the “seemingly rare, but increasingly reported phenomenon” called the Paxlovid rebound last month.
“It was sort of what people are referring to as a Paxlovid rebound,” Fauci added.
As ABC News explained:
The rebounding phenomenon, which is described as a recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms or the development of a new positive viral test after having tested negative, has been found to occur between two and eight days after initial recovery. A brief return of COVID-19 symptoms may be part of the “natural history” of the virus, officials wrote, and may occur in some people, regardless of treatment with Paxlovid or vaccination status.
Fauci’s said his second bout with coronavirus after experiencing the Paxlovid rebound was “much worse than in the first go around.”
On Tuesday, Fauci said he was on his fourth day of a second five-day treatment with Paxlovid.
“And fortunately, I feel reasonably good. I mean, I’m not complete[ly] without symptoms, but I certainly don’t feel acutely ill,” Fauci said.
While Paxlovid is authorized in the United States for individuals with mild or moderate symptoms of the virus, there is no evidence that a second treatment of Paxlovid is required, according to the CDC.