COVID warning: Why having a dog could be ‘strongly’ raising your risk of coronavirus

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COVID deaths have topped 50,000 in the UK, with thousands of people being diagnosed with the infection every single day. Scientists have now warned that simply walking your dog could be significantly increasing your risk of coronavirus.

Almost 55 million people have been infected with COVID-19 around the world.

England has been plunged into a second national lockdown, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

But a number of potential coronavirus vaccines are entering the final stages of clinical trials.

While there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, experts have still urged the public to remain vigilant.

Dog walkers, in particular, should remain cautious when out-and-about with their canine.

Simply tasing your dog for a walk could be raising your risk of COVID by up to 72 percent, according to Spanish scientists.

Owning a cat, or any other type of pet, doesn’t appear to have the same type of risk, they added.

It’s not entirely clear whether the elevated risk of caused by simply being outside, or whether the infection could be passed through dogs.

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“Particularly relevant was the finding of a significantly higher estimated prevalence of the disease in the population group that reported having walked the dog during the period of confinement, increasing the risk of contracting the disease by 72 percent,” the scientists wrote.

“However, owning cats or other types of pets did not lead to a significant effect on the estimated prevalence of the disease.

“The results of the investigation also warn of a higher contagion among dog owners and this higher prevalence still needs to be elucidated.

“These results point to living with dogs as a strong risk factor for COVID-19 infection.”

To date, only four dogs have tested positive for coronavirus.

These dogs had come into direct contact with a human that tested positive for the infection.

If you choose to walk your dog throughout the coronavirus pandemic, you should make sure to follow the social distancing guidelines.

You should remain at least two meters apart from anybody outside of your household, and where a face covering in areas without adequate ventilation.

If you develop any of the three key warning signs of coronavirus, you should get tested straight away.

A high fever, a new, continuous cough, or a change to your sense of smell or taste, could all be caused by COVID-19.

You should stay at home and self-isolate while you await the results of your coronavirus test.

If your test comes back positive, you should self-isolate for at least 10 days if you live alone, or two weeks if you live with other people.

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