United Kingdom trains dogs to sniff out COVID-19: Will it work?

New Study Aims to Determine Dogs’ Ability to Sniff Out COVID-19

Medical detection dogs can sniff out cancer malaria and other infections and diseases. What about COVID-19

The trained sniffer dogs could potentially screen up to 250 travelers for COVID-19 per hour.

Medical Detection dogs said it previously trained dogs to identify certain cancers, malaria and Parkinson's disease and that dogs can learn to detect the odor of a disease which is the equivalent dilution of one teaspoon of sugar in two filled Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Sniffer dogs have proven very effective in detecting drugs, weapons, and other contraband at airports.

The specialist team of researchers has been awarded bu the UK Government with more than £500,000 to carry out the research. CNN reported that researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with charity Medical Detection Dogs and the UK's Durham University, believe that respiratory diseases change body odour.

Yes, trials are now taking place in the United Kingdom to see whether specially trained airport sniffer dogs could detect Covid-19 in travellers before they even exhibit any symptoms.

This preliminary trial has recruited six dogs, dubbed "The Super Six" - they're all either labradors or cocker spaniels.

Dogs could be a new tool in detecting COVID-19 in humans. Lead researcher, Professor James Logan is confident that based on previous trials, this trial will yield positive results.

The dogs training to detect malaria took years, but in the end, it could be demonstrated that people who have a malaria infection had a different body smell than others.

The first stage of the research wishes to determine if the dogs can detect COVID 19 in humans according to the simple odour samples.

The team will also use nylon socks to collect odor samples.

"That sounds a bit unusual, but we know from our previous experience that this is a really good way of collecting odors from people, and it's such an easy way to do it", he said.

If the endeavor proves successful, the trained COVID-19 sniffer dogs could be stationed at key entry points in the United Kingdom, namely airports, and potentially screen up to 250 travelers per hour. Other countries are carrying out similar research, like France.

"Hopefully this will prevent a second peak and enable precious NHS resources to be used where most needed", said Guest.

If you're thinking the Covid-19 danger is behind us, think again.

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