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Oregon senator says he felt some symptoms returning after taking anti-viral medication and is isolating.

COURTESY PHOTO - U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley announced he has tested positive again for the COVID-19 coronavirus. He said he took an oral anti-viral medication after his initial positive test, which he announced May 23.U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley said Thursday, June 2, that he has tested positive again for the COVID-19 coronavirus, about 10 days after his initial announcement of an infection.

Merkley said in his latest statement that he had been feeling better after he took Paxlovid, an oral anti-viral medication by Pfizer that has emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. The drug does not prevent infection, but it reduces the severity of the disease so that a patient averts being hospitalized — if the medication is taken within five days.

Potential side effects include a loss of a sense of taste and muscle aches.

Merkley's statement:

"After recovering and feeling better, some COVID symptoms have returned and I again tested positive. This is occurring in a modest percent of folks who used Paxlovid and is referred to as 'COVID-19 rebound.'

"I am following CDC guidelines to isolate and will return to in-person work as soon as I am able.

"This is yet another reminder that the virus is evolving and changing, and we all must be diligent to stay one-step ahead. We know the best ways to mitigate the spread: getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing masks, and isolating and testing when you know you have been exposed."

Merkley is the fourth member of Oregon's congressional delegation to test positive for the virus. Sen. Ron Wyden announced it on April 26 — Wyden is back at work in Oregon, where he has scheduled five town hall meetings — and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio also tested positive in April.

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