How it was told
New information on the nature of the coronavirus has been coming thick and fast in recent months as scientists the world over focus on developing a vaccine.
It has been hard to sort the tall tales from the vital facts but there has been no shortage of coverage on scientific developments as we all eye an end to the pandemic. One recent study looked at the role of height when it comes to transmission of the virus, according to stories reported on July 31 and August 1. Other characteristics have been discussed in the media – for example that children are less likely to contract Covid-19 – but there has been little research into the role of height.
The University of Manchester research was reported by Mirror Online, Mail Online and Express Online, and all three shared the same angle, albeit with some small discrepancies. Mirror Online’s report had the most general headline. It read: “People who are over 6ft tall are twice as likely to catch coronavirus, study claims”.
As for Mail Online, their headline focused on men. They opted for: “Does being tall raise the risk of getting Covid-19? Men over 6ft are TWICE as likely to get infected, study claims”. And Express Online went for the more clickbait-friendly: “Coronavirus update: Men this height are twice as likely to get infected, study claims”.
Metro, The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman also reported on the study. But do these stories stand tall or are they short on fact?
This study does not prove any causal link between being over 6ft tall and catching Covid-19, and there is also doubt over the level of association between the two.