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New COVID-19 study should raise NBA concerns

People who test positive for COVID-19 are not safe from lung damage according to a new Chinese study
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As reports of NBA players testing positive for COVID-19 begin to trickle out, there is a new study that should raise concerns for the league and its plan to return.

Chinese scientists from the Wanzhou District of China found that 21 of the 37 asymptomatic COVID-19 patients they studied had sustained damage to at least one lung, according to a study in Nature Medicine.

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The scans above show the lungs of two asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers who appear to have "ground-glass opacities" in their lungs due to the virus.

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The study also found that antibody levels were lower in asymptomatic carriers than in symptomatic carriers and that antibody levels dropped over time. Additionally, the scientists explicitly mentioned the riskiness of adopting an "immunity passports" program, in which people who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 would be allowed to return to work once healthy.

The scientists also urged lawmakers to continue supporting "the prolongation of public health interventions, including social distancing, hygiene, isolation of high-risk groups and widespread testing."

The report should raise concerns about the health and safety of NBA players who have tested positive for COVID-19 while being asymptomatic.

So far, Utah's Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, Denver's Nikola Jokic, Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, Boston's Marcus Smart, Detroit's Christian Wood, Indiana's Malcolm Brogdon, Sacramento's Buddy Hield and numerous other unidentified players have tested positive for the virus.

- Aaron Rose covers the Toronto Raptors and Canadian basketball for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter @aaronbenrose or on Facebook @AllRaptors.