University of Nebraska Medical Center

What is COVID rebound? Doctors explain common symptoms and who’s at risk

NBC News

With COVID levels high across most of the country, some people may find themselves experiencing symptoms of COVID rebound in the coming weeks.

“COVID rebound is a recurrence of COVID symptoms after initial improvement or a new positive test after a negative one,” Dr. Scott Roberts, associate medical director of infection prevention at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, tells TODAY.com. 

Earlier in the pandemic, COVID rebound was thought to be mostly caused by taking the antiviral treatment Paxlovid, as many of these patients would notice symptoms returning a few days after finishing treatment. But a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found no consistent link between taking Paxlovid and those who experienced COVID rebound.

Here’s a review on what we know so far about COVID rebound, as the U.S. continues to ride its second-largest COVID wave

What is COVID rebound? 

COVID rebound occurs when COVID symptoms stop and then return days later. It’s not exactly clear why it happens.

The current evidence suggests COVID rebound usually occurs three to seven days after an infection resolves in patients, according to the December CDC report.


  1. Wanda Estril says:

    If I have OVID Rebound, do I need to isolate. If so, for how long?

    1. Claudinne Miller says:

      Hi Wanda,

      COVID “rebound” is not uncommon, and it can occur with and without antiviral treatment. “Rebound” does not have an official definition, but many experts would probably agree that any case with recurrence of symptoms more than 7 days after initial onset, and after a period of resolution of symptoms for at least 48, would classify as rebound. Most studies of patients with rebound indicate that viral shedding resolves more quickly, generally within 48-72 hours after symptoms resolve.

      James Lawler, MD, MPH, FIDSA
      Global Center for Health Security
      University of Nebraska Medical Center

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.