People over 6ft tall have more than double the chance of being diagnosed with Covid-19, a survey suggests.
An international team of researchers, including experts from the University of Manchester and Open University, surveyed 2,000 people in the UK and US to look at whether personal attributes, work and living practices might influence transmission.
The team found that taller people are at higher risk, which the scientists say suggests that the virus is transmitting through the air, as height would not make a difference if people were contracting the diseases exclusively through droplets.
Aerosols can accumulate in poorly ventilated areas and are carried by air currents. Droplets, however, are bigger than aerosols and are thought to travel relatively short distances and drop quickly from the air.
Prof Evan Kontopantelis, from The University of Manchester, said: “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. 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.”