NORFOLK, Va. — A team of researchers from two universities in the UK are making an interesting claim: taller people are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.
Here’s what you need to know about the claim circulating on social media.
It’s based on a survey of 2,000 people in the UK and the US. Respondents 6’0” and taller were twice as likely to have contracted COVID-19.
Why? It’s a question of transmission.
We know the virus can spread through sneeze and cough droplets; once they leave the mouth they’re heavier than air, so gravity pulls them down.
But these researchers theorize that aerosol transmission must be possible, too.
Think of aerosols as microscopic, lighter droplets that can stay in the air longer and higher. They believe aerosol is the reason taller people have a better chance of coming into contact with the virus.
However, the World Health Organization maintains that despite aerosol transmission being a possibility, droplets are the main way people get sick.
While the hypothesis does seem logical, we can’t confidently say taller people are more at risk of getting COVID-19.