Popular scientists have come out to say that they believe medical detection dogs can help us to identify coronavirus cases in human beings. According to the head of a non-profit which trains medical dogs, these dogs will be able to sniff test 750 people in 60 minutes, which should help to curb the spread of the virus.
Currently, the possibility of dogs responding to the coronavirus pandemic is being explored by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Durham University, and the Medical Detection Dogs organization, however, as at last month, it was still an experimental project.
Professor James Logan, the head of the department of disease control at LSHTM had this to say, “It’s early days for COVID-19 odor detection. We do not know if COVID-19 has a specific odor yet, but we know that other respiratory diseases change our body odor so there is a chance that it does. And if it does, dogs will be able to detect it. This new diagnostic tool could revolutionize our response to COVID-19.”
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Claire Guest, CEO of the Medical Detection Dogs charity added, “There have already been so many fantastic achievements in the dogs’ work to detect human disease, and I believe they can be trained to sniff out COVID-19. 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.”
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