RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – After a recent work-related trip to Mexico, Triangle author and USA Today opinion columnist, Steven Petrow, knew what was happening as soon as he felt it.
“I had a fever, I had a cough, I had body aches, I was not feeling well,” Petrow said. “So, I called my doctor right away and she said ‘test, but I’m going to write you a prescription for Paxlovid, the anti-viral’ and I started taking that the next day.”
Paxlovid is an anti-viral treatment for COVID-19 and is highly effective at keeping people out of the hospital.
“By day five I felt great, and I tested negative and I was like ‘I’m ready to go’,” Petrow said.
But a few days later his symptoms came back.
“I was confused. I had heard about this thing called Paxlovid rebound, which happens to a certain percentage, they don’t really know, people take Paxlovid initially and then you’re OK and then it comes back and then you’re ok again,” he said. “So, I did have two periods of quarantine there within a two-week period.”
Pfizer, the maker of Paxlovid, has said it is currently seeing a rebound rate of about two percent but is continuing to monitor patients.
“If you take Paxlovid, you might get symptoms again, we haven’t yet seen anybody who has returned with symptoms needing to go to the hospital. So generally, (it’s) a milder course,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control.
Petrow has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and has been boosted twice. He said he followed all CDC guidelines with his initial infection and when it rebounded.
But he worries others aren’t doing the same.
“It’s really disheartening to see so many people that I know who test positive, not following the rules. I don’t love following the rules, but the rules are here for all of us to do,” Petrow said.