SAN FRANCISCO -- 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%.
RELATED: The safest and most dangerous things to do this pandemic holiday season
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.
RELATED: Want to get a COVID-19 test in time for the holidays? Here's what you need to know
The full scientific study is published in the journal here.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Want to get a COVID-19 test in time for the holidays? Here's what you need to know
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid 'twindemic'
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic