ISLAMABAD-The study, published in the journal Environmental Research, has revealed that living with a dog and buying basic products in the supermarket with home delivery were two of the socio-demographic variables (of those analyzed) that most increased the risk of contracting COVID-19 during the period under study—by 78% in the case of living with a dog, and by 94% in that of supermarket home delivery. The authors warn dog-owners of the need to take extreme hygiene measures in relation to their pets, as it is not yet clear whether the owners were infected because the animal acted as a host for the virus (and transmitted it) or due to having taken it out for a walk in public. 

As explained by Cristina Sánchez González, a researcher at the UGR’s Biomedical Research Centre and the main author of this work, “in view of the rapid spread of the virus even during lockdown, we consider it important to study the socio-demographic characteristics, habits, and comorbidities of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in order to implement effective prevention strategies.” To this end, the researchers designed a survey to capture variables of interest during the lockdown period that might help explain the exponential spread of the virus, despite the highly restrictive mobility conditions implemented nationally in Spain.