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Could dogs be the answer to sniffing out the Coronavirus?

Could dogs be the answer to sniffing out the Coronavirus? dog-wow
© Medical Detection Dogs - Facebook

We already know how special dogs are but in these testing times, medical detection dogs might just become the world's heroes as they learn to detect traits of Covid-19.

By Natasha James , 27 Mar 2020

 

Doggos boast an incredible sense of smell

A dog's sense of smell is incredible but far from just sniffing out a discarded treat in an old coat pocket, this sense may now be able to help us when we need it most.

Experts and dog handlers are currently looking into the role that medical detection dogs could play in the nation's fight against the Coronavirus.

Canines' incredible olfactory senses have been saving lives for years by sniffing out diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, Parkinson’s and bacterial infections.

A successful collaboration

The charity Medical Detection Dogs is teaming up with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University. A collaboration that has previously been successful in teaching dogs to sniff out malaria.


Experts from the Medical Detection Dogs charity have already carried out wide-ranging tests to show that different illnesses have distinct smells. Now the team claim that the dogs could be trained and ready to join us in the battle against Covid-19 in just six weeks.

The dogs will be taught in the same way as those already adept at sniffing out various cancers and other diseases and the process will involve them sniffing samples and alerting handlers when the illness is present.

A canine weapon against the virus

The beauty of the tests is that the dogs may even be able to sniff out people who are currently without symptoms. The challenge now is working out how to get samples from infected patients safely.

Once fully trained, the dogs could be stationed at airports to identify travellers in and out of the country who have the disease.

We always knew that dogs were our best friend but now they might even be a new weapon in the fight against Covid-19.

Want to know more about a dog's sense of smell?