The researchers observed around 1,000 children between 4 and 12 years of age and looked for warts on their hands and feet. The children were also asked whether they walked barefoot at home, visited public swimming pools, used public showers or played sports barefoot and after a period of one year, the researchers examined the children once again for the presence of warts.
The researchers found that around 29 percent of the children developed new warts during the year and those who already had warts during the initial examination were more likely to develop warts compared to those who had no warts at the start of the study. Having classmates or family members with warts also increased the risk that a child would contract the virus.
"Having a family member with warts was a more important risk factor than school-class prevalence, which was more important than any public factor", the researchers wrote in their report, which has been published in the journal Pediatrics.