WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- In London, after training for 10 weeks, just by walking past people with the coronavirus, the dogs would just stop in their tracks and look towards the infected person.
- In a German study, the dog’s sensitive nose identified the coronavirus from the saliva of 1,000 people with 94% accuracy, in as little as 5 days training.
- Unpleasant and uncomfortable swab and blood tests can be replaced with the coronavirus-sniffing dogs.
Through time, dogs have been trained to detect bombs, drugs, and human diseases like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, malaria, and prostate cancer. Their noses are 1,000 times more sensitive than humans.
Now, dogs are being trained in the UK and Germany, to smell COVID-19 positive people.
One thing more: dogs are immune to the coronavirus and so there is no danger of them getting and transmitting the disease.
As James Logan, head of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told CBC News Kids, “When you have a disease, your body odor changes. And dogs are an excellent example of being able to detect smells and also learn those smells. That’s what we’re aiming to do with COVID-19.”
Just by walking past people with the coronavirus, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels who have undergone ten weeks training, would just stop and look towards the infected person.
According to the researchers, this would be effective in identifying the asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus. The dogs would just be assigned in train stations, stadiums, and airports and other public places.
In a study by the University Veterinary Hannover in Germany, after training for just a few days, the dogs can already do the job. The armed forces trained dogs were made to sniff out saliva of 1,000 people who were infected and healthy. The dogs were able to identify those who had the coronavirus with 94% success rate.
Professor Maren Von Kockritz-Blickwede said, “We think this works because metabolic processes in the body of a diseased patient are completely changed. We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell of the metabolic changes that occur in those patients.”
With this development, current uncomfortable and unpleasant swab and blood tests can be avoided.
As for the swab test, the artist Drake on his Instagram Live, said to his Dad, “That test is uncomfortable. They put that Q-tip all inside your thoughts and s―t.” He got a negative result.
On the other hand, the current antibody blood tests are just accurate in determining previous infections and not current infections.
The sniffing dogs are more agreeable than getting your nose swabbed with a cotton bud.