Coronavirus weekly need-to-know: Long-haulers, strange symptoms, Halloween candy & more

Katie Camero

Each week, McClatchy News offers you a round-up of our noteworthy coronavirus coverage from across the nation.

More than 8.9 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday, Oct. 30, according to Johns Hopkins University. That includes more than 228,000 people who have died nationwide.

The United States leads the world in both confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

Globally, there are more than 45.1 million confirmed cases of the highly infectious virus, with more than 1.1 million reported deaths.

Here’s the news you need to know for the week of Oct. 25.

Symptoms could determine disease duration

New research suggests the number of symptoms a person has might be able to predict the length of their illness..

Patients who experienced symptoms for more than 28 days — which the researchers deem a long infection — were “consistently older, more female and were more likely to require hospital assessment” than those who reported symptoms for less than 10 days.

Read on to learn how many and what symptoms were most common among long-haulers.

Number of COVID-19 symptoms you have could determine how long you’re sick, study says

Long-haulers face strange symptoms

Some people with the coronavirus experience strange symptoms that linger for months long after a negative test result deems them clear of infection.

Doctors are hesitant to make clear cause-and-effect relationships because there isn’t enough evidence to know if COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes, triggers the symptoms.

Among the peculiar and alarming symptoms reported by individuals, who experts call long-haulers, are early signs of Parkinson’s disease, scaly skin rashes and unpleasant tastes in their mouths.

Continue reading to learn more about what lingering symptoms.

Some long-haulers face strange lingering symptoms months after COVID infection clears

Halloween candy amid a pandemic

Sugary sweets are a huge part of Halloween, but some experts say a main concern this year is that candy wrappers could have come in contact with the coronavirus via infected individuals.

Early studies have found the virus can survive up to three days on plastic and linger as droplets for several hours in the air.

Here’s how to stay safe while having a Halloween to remember.

Is your kid’s Halloween candy safe? Here’s what to look out for, experts say

Some states to check COVID vaccine safety themselves

Several states have announced that they want to independently review a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available before distributing it to the public.

The initiatives come as state health officials worry if vaccine developers and the Food and Drug Administration are dedicated to ensuring a vaccine is safe and effective, despite pressure from the Trump administration to push one out in record speed.

Can states do this? Read on to learn more.

Some states want to check safety of COVID-19 vaccine before giving it. Here’s why

United Airlines to test all passengers on some flights

United Airlines will soon test all passengers for COVID-19 on some flights to London, the airline announced Thursday.

Starting Nov. 16, all crew members and passengers over the age of 2 on United Flight 14 will be given free same-day rapid COVID-19 tests ahead of the flight.

Continue reading to learn more about the trial.

United to test all passengers on some flights for COVID-19 in new transatlantic trial

Fauci calls for national mask mandate

Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a strong recommendation Wednesday for a national mask mandate as COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the United States.

He warned that the U.S. is “on a very difficult trajectory,” as 41 states have seen at least a 10% increase in cases in the past week.

Here’s what else was said by Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Fauci says COVID-19 mask mandate is needed. ‘We are on a very difficult trajectory’

White House official says US won’t control pandemic

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said during an interview with CNN on Sunday that the United States is “not going to control the pandemic.”

When asked why by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Meadows responded: “Because it is a contagious virus.” Instead, Meadows said, “what we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it’s therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don’t die from this.”

Continue reading for more information on the White House’s comments about the future of pandemic control.

US ‘not going to control’ COVID-19 pandemic, White House Chief of Staff Meadows says

First US retailer sells rapid coronavirus tests

Kroger announced Wednesday it will soon begin offering COVID-19 rapid antibody testing at all of its pharmacies — starting now in two states.

The tests are available to Kroger customers for $25 and currently offered in California and Michigan locations, Kroger announced. It plans to release the rapid tests to all Kroger pharmacies and clinics by the end of November.

Read on to learn more about rapid COVID-19 tests.

Kroger becomes first US retailer to start rolling out COVID-19 rapid antibody tests

In other coronavirus coverage outside McClatchy...