Dogs can detect explosives and drugs, but can they also detect the new coronavirus? Experts at a veterinary clinic in Germany say yes, as they trained dogs that would detect with an accuracy of 94% people infected with COVID-19, according to Reuters.
In Finland, dogs trained to detect the new coronavirus began sniffing samples of passengers at Finnish Helsinki-Vantaa airport last September in a pilot project alongside regular PCR tests.
Santiago International Airport in Chile also uses canine detectors.
Representatives of the Hanover University of Veterinary Medicine said that these puppies feel the virus in human saliva samples, sniffing these samples. Joe Cocker, a 1-year-old Spanish Cocker and Filou, a 3-year-old Belgian Shepherd, are two of these dogs trained to smell the virus.
“So dogs can even detect people with and without infections, as well as asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with COVID-19,” say those at the clinic.
The premier of Lower Saxony, with the capital in Hanover, says he was impressed by the study and asked for feasibility tests before turning to puppies
Last year, the German army and a University Veterinary Foundation announced that they were working with various dog breeds to find out the answer, training dogs to “smell” the coronavirus.
The dogs of the German army were to be trained to detect, with the help of smell, people infected with the new coronavirus.
The animals that will “smell” the virus belong to the only Dog Training Center within the Bundeswehr, located in the Vulkaneifel rural district in western Germany.