Dogs Can Sniff Out Coronavirus Patients Even Before Symptoms, UK Launched Trials!

Leela Adwani |May 18, 2020

Last week, the UK government has launched a one-off trial in which dogs are trained to sniff out coronavirus in human even before symptoms appear. Read on!

Research funded by the UK government has started training dogs to detect coronavirus patients even when they haven’t shown any symptom of infection yet.

In fact, dogs have been successfully trained to sniff out the odor of certain diseases such as cancer, malaria diabetes, and Parkinson's. This paves the way for current research in which dogs will be trained to detect coronavirus.

The trial is conducted at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with the support of Durham University and Medical Detection Dogs charity organization.

Specialist Dogs Detecting Coronavirus
Six specialist dogs from Medical Detection Dogs would be employed in trials.

According to researchers, odor samples from coronavirus patients across London hospitals will be used to train 6 specialist dogs. A similar procedure has been used to train dogs from Medical Detection Dogs for malaria detection, and it gained impressive results.

The UK government hope this method can help solve the problems of testing throughout the country. It can also reduce the risk of human-to-human spreading.

Explaining why this project can succeed, the lead researcher Prof James Logan shared that:

[That dogs can be trained to accurately detect malaria], combined with the knowledge that respiratory disease can change body odour, makes us hopeful that the dogs can also detect Covid-19. If successful, this approach could revolutionise how we detect the virus, with the potential to screen high numbers of people.

Dogs Smell Coronavirus
The dog will smell coronavirus samples taken from London hospitals.

If it becomes reality, dogs can screen up to 250 people per hour with accurate results, reducing the reliance on test-kit production.

Claire Guest, CEO and co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs said:

We are delighted that the government has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that dogs can play a role in the fight against Covid-19. They have the potential to help by quickly screening people, which could be vital in the future.

She believed the first phase would show positive results soon then they would move to the second phase to test dogs in live situations. She was proud that a dog’s nose has saved many lives and it could do that during the Covid-19 pandemic as well.

Uk Testing Coronavirus
The innovative idea is to reduce the burden on testing system and risks of human spread.

Back to the previous trainings, dogs have successfully detected diabetic people whose blood sugar levels are unusually higher or lower than normal people. Another research in 2015 also indicated that dogs could detect chemicals found in urine of cancer patients with the average accuracy of 90%.

With these past achievements, we could totally believe in UK researchers and hope that dogs would be used soon to detect the deadly coronavirus.

Quicker testing means more timely help. A lot of human lives could be saved if these trials work.

>>> Related post on Starbiz: US Couple Get Married With Dogs As Bridesmaids Amid Lockdown

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