Dogs Can Detect Diseases So They’re Now Being Trained to Sniff COVID-19 & That Could be a Game-Changer

I’m a huge lover of dogs. I mean, who isn’t?

Image: Giphy

Just look at how fluffy they are!

Image: Giphy

My heart is melting.

Now, we all know that dogs are a man’s best friend, and there are very good reasons why.

Other than the fact that they are extremely loyal, cute, and are your best friends, they are also very good at one thing: detecting diseases and substance use through their keen sense of smell.

And during this critical period where the spread of the COVID-19 infection is rampant, their help is definitely needed.

Just in case you need a daily reminder, there are now more than 575,900 people infected worldwide and more than 26,400 deaths.

Dogs Can Detect Diseases So They’re Now Being Trained to Sniff COVID-19 & They Could End the Outbreak

The British charity, Medical Detection Dogs, will be working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Durham University in northeast England to see if dogs can help to detect COVID-19 in people.

Image: SCMP

It is believed that every disease will trigger some sort of distinct smell, and with that belief, the organisations have begun preparations to train dogs in six weeks “to help provide a rapid, non-invasive diagnosis towards the tail end of the epidemic”.

The charity has also had previous successes in training dogs to detect diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and bacterial infections by sniffing samples taken from existing patients.

It is also pretty cool to note that dogs can tell when a person has very slight changes to their skin temperature, which will make them useful in determining whether a person is running a temperature.

Claire Guest, the founder and chief executive of the charity, said, “In principle, we’re sure that dogs could detect COVID-19. We are now looking into how we can safely catch the odour of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs.”

Dogs To The Rescue

She added, “The aim is that the dogs will be able to screen anyone, including those who are asymptomatic, and tell us whether they need to be tested. This would be fast, effective and non-invasive and make sure the limited NHS (National Health Service) testing resources are only used where they are really needed.”

Previously, the head of disease control at LSHTM said that dogs are able to sniff out malaria with “extremely high accuracy”, as well as other respiratory diseases that change body odour. As such, there is a “very high chance” that this will work with COVID-19 too.

So instead of having to test everyone with the full test kit, these dogs will help to minimise the number of resources needed and help ensure that only those who are potential COVID-19 carriers need to be sent for an actual test.

The specific plan?

These detection dogs will hopefully be deployed at airports so that they can quickly sniff out those who are potential COVID-19 carriers. This way, there will probably be a higher success in preventing more infections from spreading.

Test kits are so yesterday if dogs can test for us.

We can only hope that these dogs will be successful in their detection, and if so, perhaps more countries can train dogs to help in our battle against COVID-19.

Image: Giphy

Imagine this daily report:

30 New Imported COVID-19 Cases in Singapore; All Stopped From Entering Singapore As Dogs Found Them Positive Before They Could Enter

That would be lit.



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