People who walk their dogs are 78% more likely to contract COVID-19, new study finds

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new study published Tuesday in the Environmental Research Journal found that people who walk their dogs have an increased risk of catching COVID-19.

Researchers tracked more than 2,000 people in Spain during the country's initial lockdown in the spring.

The scientists found that a person who walks their dog increases their risk of contracting the coronavirus by 78%.

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The study notes that it is unclear if dogs acted as a host vector for the virus, or if the individual owners came into contact with COVID-19 elsewhere in their day-to-day lives.

But the authors say dog owners must pay extra careful attention to personal hygiene as the cold season falls upon us and the virus resurges.

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The full scientific study is published in the journal here.

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