Living with a dog increases the risk of contracting COVID-19, new study shows


Living with a dog increases the risk of contracting COVID-19, a new study shows.

A new study relating to COVID-19 has revealed that living with a dog and buying essentials in the supermarket and home delivery were two of the socio-demographic variables that increased the risk of transmission.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Grenada (UGR) and the Andalusian School of Public Health, which analyzed the main risk factors that raised the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, during the national lockdown in Spain.

According to SciTechDaily, the study, which was published in the journal Environmental Research, was based on samples collected from 2,086 individuals across Spain. The survey presented a prevalence of the disease in the group of up to 4.7%. The findings of the study showed that the risk factor of transmission of the virus was 78% in the case of living with a dog and taking it for a walk and up to 94% in the case of supermarket home delivery. The study also showed that the risk of contracting the virus was 60 times higher for those who live with a COVID-19 patient.

The researchers behind the study warn dog-owners to adopt extreme hygiene measures incorporating their pets, although the matter requires further investigation.

Even though the results of the study indicate that cohabiting with dogs can surge the risk factor of transmission of the virus, there is a need for further studies regarding the issue and analyzing whether dogs act as a vehicle for the virus or whether they picked it up indirectly due to the increased exposure of the dog to the infected surfaces, thereby transmitting it from dogs to humans. Cristina Sanchez Gonzalez, a researcher at UGR’s Biomedical Research Center and the main author of this study, said, “The results of our research warn of increased contagion among dog-owners, and 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”.



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