Dog walking in list of everyday activities that ‘increase’ coronavirus risk, study finds

The study found dog walking increased the risk of getting coronavirus (file photo) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Dog walking and home deliveries are among the everyday activities which increase the risk of contracting coronavirus, according to a study.

The study, published in the Environmental Research journal, by the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health looked at the main risk factors of coronavirus transmission during the first national lockdown in Spain.

Dog walking was said to have increased the risk of getting Covid-19 by 78% during the period studied, March to May.

Supermarket home deliveries increased the risk by 94%, according to the research.

And the risk if someone else in a person's household tested positive for the coronavirus was 60 times higher, the study found.

Working outside of the home was said to increase the risk by 76% and using public transport also made infection more likely.

Dog walking was said to have increased the risk of getting Covid-19 by 78% during the period studied (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Sánchez González said in the report: "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."

The authors added: "From a scientific point of view, there is no justification for children’s playgrounds being closed to prevent infections while parks where dogs are walked are allowed to remain open, when there are numerous objects there that can act as vehicles for SARS-CoV-2."

Supermarket home deliveries increased the risk by 94%, the research found (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images)

The scientists warned dog walkers to take extreme hygiene measures and said it remained unclear as to whether dogs could transmit the virus directly or if they were indirect 'vehicles' that picked it up from objects and surfaces.

A sample of 2,086 individuals was used for the study and 41% of those who took part were aged between 40 and 54.

The scientists claimed disinfecting products bought from a supermarket could reduced the risk of the disease by 94%.

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