(LONDON) — While it’s already known that man’s best friend can sniff out threats like bombs and drugs, their sense of smell can detect health changes in people with diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, and other health issues.
The latest effort? Getting specially-trained dogs to sniff out COVID-19. A UK-based charity called Medical Detection Dogs is doing just that.
in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University, the company has launched a six-week training program with the goal of having dogs not only pick up on people with fevers, but detect the subtle odors emitted by people with respiratory conditions like COVID-19.
Dr Claire Guest, CEO and co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs, says, “We are now looking into how we can safely catch the odour of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs…This new diagnostic tool could revolutionize our response to COVID-19 in the short term, but particularly in the months to come, and could be profoundly impactful.”
Professor Steve Lindsay at Durham University says, “If the research is successful, we could use COVID-19 detection dogs at airports at the end of the epidemic to rapidly identify people carrying the virus. This would help prevent the re-emergence of the disease after we have brought the present epidemic under control.”
Since Medical Detection Dogs is a charity, you can actually sponsor pups to be trained to be disease fighters.
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