We have seen drug-sniffing dogs on television, but did you know they can also sniff out diseases? Right now they can smell ailments like cancer, malaria and Parkinson’s in humans, and scientists are hoping to add Coronavirus to that list.
A group of scientists and public health innovators from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, ARCTEC, Medical Detection Dogs charity, and Durham University are looking to train six of their dogs to smell COVID-19 on people who have it.
Before they can train them, they have to find out if the virus has a smell. Therefore they are asking people, who have COVID-19, to donate their face masks, nylons, and clothes to them. Then they will let the canines smell the clothes to see if Coronavirus has a distinct scent.
If it does, then the pooches will need about 6-8 weeks of training before they will be able to go out into the field and use their snouts to sniff the Corona out.
“When resources and testing kits are low, hundreds of people can’t be tested in one go. But the dogs can screen up to 750 people really quickly. By identifying those who need to be tested and self-isolate, they can stop the spread.
“They offer a fast, effective and non-invasive way to ensure limited NHS testing resources are used only \where they are really needed. The dogs can help make a profound impact on the spread of this deadly disease. Their ability is incredible.”Dr Claire Guest, CEO and founder of the Medical Detection Dogs to The Mirror
Before you get too hopeful about this being available in your hometown, the pups will initially be stationed at ports of entry throughout England. The dogs will make sure that the people entering the country do not have Covid-19. Then as time goes on, the pups will be transferred to common areas if there is a second wave.
This training is not cheap. MD Dogs Against COVID-19 needs £1million to make this happen, so they have created a GoFundMe page to raise the money.
One last thing, all the dogs are rescues. Another reason to adopt don’t shop.