What if living with a dog were to eventually be added to the list of risk factors for Covid-19 ? We will explain everything to you.
The benefits of having a four-legged companion are numerous: drop in blood pressure, strengthening of the immune system, fight against loneliness, help with active life … A dog also helps its owner to have more interactions with others. In this period of epidemic, however, where the social distancing is more appropriate, this aspect is not without consequences.
According to a study, which will be published in the journal Environmental Research January 2021 (already available on the Internet), people who walk their dogs would indeed be 78% more likely to contract Covid-19. But is it really just because they are more exposed to social contact?
Vectors for the virus?
For the purposes of their research, researchers from the University of Granada (Spain) questioned 2,086 individuals about their daily habits during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal? Identify the most risky activities. Gold walking his faithful sidekick was a risk factor significantly more important than others, since their results reveal a “higher contagion among dog owners”.
Sharing her routine with a cat or other animal didn’t seem to put you at greater risk of infection. Yes cases of coronavirus have been seen in dogs (without specific symptoms), no research has so far shown that a Canine-to-human transmission is possible. However, it is possible that the doggies, by touching contaminated public surfaces, bring infectious agents home.
One of the study’s authors, Prof. Cristina Sanchez Gonzalez, advises (all the same) happy owners of be extra vigilant about hygiene precautions — without disinfecting his pet with hydroalcoholic gel. Further research will be needed to determine the role of dogs in the spread of the virus, indicates the report. It is possible, for example, that the germs spread because of their excrement, suggests the researcher.
Other riskier activities
For information, this research reveals that the most dangerous activity would be to have your groceries delivered to your home – even more than shopping directly outside – because then you would be 94% more likely to be infected. In another register, the face-to-face work rather than teleworking would increase the risk by 76%. A study on the places most at risk can also be found here.