Can Dogs Sniff And Detect COVID Among Humans?
The whole world is facing many challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic. Most countries were lacking the coronavirus testing kits to detect the COVID-19 in human beings. Anyhow, we have succeeded in that challenge, as now we have adequate testing kits. But little did we know that one day even dogs will be able to detect COVID-19 and that too with exceptional precision. Scientists claim that dogs, with their excellent sense of smell, can assist in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dogs around the world are being trained to detect COVID-19 in humans. The dog trainers claim that the results are excellent that too, with “perfect accuracy.” Scientists stated that dogs could help in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic as they can be employed to screen in places like airports or markets where hundreds of people come. Most notably, they are less expensive than most of the methods utilized to detect COVID-19.
Though most studies that show dogs can detect the smell of the coronavirus in humans have not been reviewed yet, due to which the scientific community can merely assess or examine these verdicts, and thus the process can’t be scaled up.
Some researchers are working with animals to discover if they can detect COVID-19 or not. On November 3, 2020, they met in an online workshop called International K9 Team and discussed their study outcomes. Holger Volk, a veterinary neurologist heading an attempt to train COVID-sniffing canines, stated that canines could be very promising in detecting the COVID-19.
Holger Volk stated that – No one said dogs could substitute a PCR machine; however, they could be very promising.
Previously, scientists have trained dogs to detect some cancers and malaria, but it is difficult to understand what they are actually sniffing, and so, dogs are not used for this purpose.
After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several researchers working with sniffer dogs trained the dogs to detect the samples and to “sit or paw” the floor when they detect any sign of the COVID-19 infection.
Currently, sniffer-dogs are being used to detect COVID-19 in sweats of passengers – in the airports in the U.S., the UAE, Finland, and Lebanon as part of trials. The results are then verified with the approved testing techniques.
As per the data, dogs in Lebanon and Finland have been able to detect COVID-19 prior to their symptoms appears.
1,680 passengers were screen by canines in Lebanon, out of which 158 (92%) COVID-19 cases were verified by the PCR tests.
Riad Sarkis, a surgeon, and researcher, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, stated that this is highly accurate, feasible, reproducible, and less expensive.