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Sniffer Dogs Detect Covid-19

Using dogs’ powerful sense of smell to detect people with Covid-19 could revolutionise how the disease is identified and tracked.  A German veterinary clinic who works with an armed forces school for service dogs, has trained sniffer dogs to detect COVID -19 with 94% accuracy.  The dogs are conditioned to scent out the “corona odour” that comes from cells in infected people. These sniffer dogs have been used in airports in Finland and Chile to detect the virus among flyers.  At the moment, a 3-year-old Belgian Shepherd and a 1-year-old Cocker Spaniel are two of the dogs being trained at Hanover University to detect COVID in human saliva.

 These dogs are able to sniff out people with infections and without infections, as well as asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID patients.  A study was done where sniffing samples from COVID positive patients were placed and the dogs had a 94% probability of “sniffing them out”.

In Finland, dogs trained to detect the novel coronavirus began sniffing passenger samples at Finland’s airport last September, in a pilot project alongside more routine testing at the airport.

There are now calls for the sniffer dogs to be put to use in everyday life, such as detecting the virus in people attending concerts and large gatherings but feasibility tests must be done first.

Another way our four-legged-pals can support our community.