When the coronavirus pandemic was detected in India, the country faced several challenges. One of them was the lack of coronavirus testing kits to detect the Covid-19 infection in humans. While we have overcome that challenge, little did we know that one day, even dogs will be able to detect coronavirus and that too with remarkable accuracy? Scientists believe so! They even think that dogs can help in controlling the coronavirus pandemic with their superior sense of smell.
Canines are being trained to detect coronavirus across the world. While dog trainers have claimed excellent results with “perfect accuracy”, scientists involved in the efforts say that canines can help in controlling the coronavirus pandemic as they can be used to screen hundreds of human beings per hour at places like airports or markets. And they are cheaper than most techniques that are being used to detect coronavirus infection.
However, most of the findings that dogs can detect the whiff of the coronavirus in humans has not been reviewed. And hence, the scientific community can hardly evaluate or test these findings. Due to the lack of reviews of these findings on dogs detecting the coronavirus infection, the process can’t be scaled up.
Some groups are working with animals to find if they certainly can detect coronavirus. They recently met on November 3 in an online workshop called International K9 Team and shared their findings from their experiments. Holger Volk, a veterinary neurologist leading an effort to train coronavirus-sniffing dogs, said dogs can be very promising in detecting the coronavirus.
“No one is saying they can replace a PCR machine, but they could be very promising,” Holger Volk was quoted as by Nature.
While scientists have trained dogs to detect some cancers and malaria, it is hard to know what they are actually sniffing. And so, they aren’t used generally.
When the coronavirus pandemic began, many scientists working with sniffer dogs trained the canines to detect the samples — mostly the sweat — and to “sit or paw” the floor when they detect any sign of the Covid-19 infection. In fact, airports in the United States, the UAE, Finland, Lebanon are conducting trials of this by using sniffer-dogs to detect coronavirus in sweats of passengers. The results are then checked with the accepted methods of the tests.
According to the data, dogs in Lebanon and Finland have been able to detect coronavirus among the passengers before their symptoms began to appear.
In Lebanon, dogs screened 1,680 passengers and found 158 (92%) coronavirus cases that were also confirmed by the PCR tests.
“This is very accurate, feasible, cheap and reproducible,” Riad Sarkis, a surgeon and researcher at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, was quoted as saying in a report.
Please Note: This article is not edited by DogExpress Team!