Coronavirus: Dog owners 78% more likely to get Covid-19, study shows
Spanish scientists also suggest getting home deliveries of groceries significantly raises your risk of catching the virus.
A Spanish study has suggested that walking your pet dog may increase your risk of catching Covid-19 by 78 per cent and getting groceries delivered to your home could double the risk.
As reported by Britain's MailOnline, Spanish researchers investigated how different behaviours change people's risks of catching the virus — and found getting supermarket deliveries and dog-walking were significant.
Experts claim dogs could be catching the virus and spreading it, or transporting it by touching contaminated surfaces in public and then their owners.
It is not fully known how animals spread the virus, but there have been confirmed cases in dogs and cats, although animals do not tend to show symptoms.
Covid-19 is believed to come from bats.
The Spanish scientists, who are from the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health in Spain, have warned dog owners to be extra careful about cleanliness before and after taking their animal outdoors.
Like humans, dogs may help spread Covid-19 by touching contaminated surfaces and spreading it around.
The Spanish study involved a survey of 2,086 people in Spain, 41 per cent of whom were middle-aged between 40 and 54 years old.
Those involved were questioned as to their actions during the pandemic and whether they had caught Covid-19 to ascertain what activities are the riskiest for the virus.
An increased risk of testing positive for the deadly virus was found in those who had supermarket deliveries to their homes, which was found to be 94 per cent more dangerous than shopping in person.
Living with a dog which they took for walks outside raised someone's risk by 78 per cent, the experts said.
Working in an office, as opposed to at home, increased the Covid-19 risk by 76 per cent, while living with someone who had the virus increased that person's risk by 60 per cent.
"The results of our research warn of increased contagion among dog-owners," said Professor Cristina SAnchez Gonzalez. "The reason for this higher prevalence has yet to be elucidated. Taking into account the current scarcity of resources to carry out the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, the possibility of diagnosis in dogs is extremely unlikely."
Professor Gonzelez suggested it may be possible that the virus could spread via dogs' faeces.
He said there was not enough evidence to tell whether dogs spread the virus like people.
The Spanish expert added of his study findings, which have been published in the journal Environmental Research: "In the midst of a pandemic and in the absence of an effective treatment or vaccine, preventive hygiene measures are the only salvation, and these measures should also be applied to dogs, which, according to our study, appear to directly or indirectly increase the risk of contracting the virus."
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