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Are taller people really more at risk for COVID-19?

A new survey suggests tall people may be at risk. But is that true?

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Associated Press NBA reporter Brian Mahoney records video while covering a protest, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in New York. When the NBA season was suspended and he was reassigned to the news department,heI assumed it was just to report from here. But, according to Mahoney, there were so many coronavirus stories to tell: Health care workers trying to keep patients alive. Residents of a community who all knew somebody who had died. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Associated Press NBA reporter Brian Mahoney records video while covering a protest, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in New York. When the NBA season was suspended and he was reassigned to the news department,heI assumed it was just to report from here. But, according to Mahoney, there were so many coronavirus stories to tell: Health care workers trying to keep patients alive. Residents of a community who all knew somebody who had died.

Associated Press

A new survey from the University of Manchester and Open University has found that taller people reported being more at risk for the novel coronavirus.

What’s happening:

  • The survey — which interviewed 2,000 people about personal attributes, work and living practices — found taller people might have higher risk of COVID-19, Fox News reports.
  • The survey specifically said people over 6 feet tall were more than twice as likely to be infected with the novel coronavirus, New York Post reports.
  • According to The Telegraph, the researchers involved with the study agreed, saying the coronavirus spreads through the air. Height would not matter if the virus only traveled on surfaces.

What do experts say?

  • “The results of this survey in terms of associations between height and diagnosis suggest downward droplet transmission is not the only transmission mechanism and aerosol transmission is possible,” professor Evan Kontopantelis, of the University of Manchester, told The Telegraph. “This has been suggested by other studies, but our method of confirmation is novel.”
  • “Though social distancing is still important because transmission by droplets is still likely to occur, it does suggest that mask-wearing may be just as — if not more — effective in prevention. But also, air purification in interior spaces should be further explored.”