Detecting Coronavirus-Dogs to the Rescue!!
What can’t dogs do? Dogs are so important already to our physical, mental, and emotional health. They’ve been comforting us throughout this pandemic. Now, they could be the key in finally ending this terrible COVID-19 pandemic by doing what they are good at – sniffing!
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell that already help people from having seizures, alerting people when there are changes in blood sugar levels; they can sniff out cancer and even dangerous bacteria in hospitals. These medically trained dogs are making essential contributions to the public’s safety every day, and now they are being trained to sniff out the novel Coronavirus that is currently responsible for the terrible pandemic we are presently going through.
In the UK, dogs are being trained by a non-profit organization called Medical Detection Dogs to detect COVID-19. If their training is successful (which we hope it is), the specially trained dogs could become the most valuable tool in fighting against COVID-19. The trained detections dogs could alert to asymptomatic carriers traveling in airports and bus transportation hubs. Medical Detection dogs explained that each virus has a unique smell that only dogs can detect with their nearly perfect sense of smell. If you’re a dog owner, you already know how powerful that sense of smell is in your dog. There are over 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose, and that is compared to the minute six million for humans.
There has been research in the past that has shown that the reliability of scent detection in dogs found that dogs who were correctly trained could detect the odor of malaria infection with a higher level of accuracy than the World Health Organization’s standards for diagnostic. This means that a dog is a more a high-speed, efficient, and non-invasive test that will free up precious resources and extensive testing for those people who are already showing COVID-19 symptoms. Dogs could come to the rescue and help prevent the expected resurgence of the virus later this year.
The training for dogs is expected to take six weeks to complete. Once the training has concluded, the organization will conduct trials on the COVID-19, causing coronavirus, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Durham University.