Dogs have very thin noses and can recognize and display the smallest particles in the air through their sense of smell. Four-legged friends have proven time and again in the past that this works for disease as well. Several studies have shown that search dogs can also sniff out Covid-19 infections.
Trainers from Medical Detection Dogs conducted a study in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with six dogs to identify the coronavirus from the clothing people wore. Result: The dogs were correct 94.3% of the time, trainers report.
How Can Dogs Be Used to Detect Covid-19?
The ability of dog detectors to detect Covid-19 by smell can be of great help to people all over the world. Sniffers can be used, for example, at airports or at large events and show infected people at the entrance with lightning speed. Four-legged friends also recognize patients who have no symptoms.
Until the English dogs are ready for human use, they must continue to train and increase the hit rate. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania also published a study in April that examined the ability of dogs to detect positive cases of the Corona. Nine search dogs used urine samples to determine with 96 percent accuracy whether a person had Covid-19.
Even so, dogs are unlikely to completely replace PCR testing anytime soon. However, researchers believe that combining service dogs with confirmatory tests may be beneficial. Thus, nearly 91 percent of all people with SARS-Cov-2 can be identified with or without symptoms.
Covid-19 Recognition: Search Dogs As a Possible Addition to PCR Tests
“The biggest advantage these dogs have is how quickly they can detect the smell of infection,” says Professor Logan, co-author of the study, which also included Medical Detection Dogs. “Our model suggests that dogs are best used as a rapid mass testing tool with a confirmatory PCR test in humans who identify dogs as positive. This can reduce the number of PCR tests required. ”