CLOSE
CLOSE AD

COVID-19: Scientists Are Training Dogs To Sniff Out the Coronavirus

  • 15 Oct 2020
COVID-19-Scientists-Are-Training-Dogs-To-Sniff-Out-the-Coronavirus

Dogs are known for their incredible sense of smell, with cases reported of them detecting people infected with malaria, infectious bacteria, and even certain types of cancer. 

Now researchers around the world are harnessing the extraordinary olfactory system of canines, which is 10,000 times more powerful than that of humans, to sniff out the coronavirus. 

The Guardian reported about four COVID-19 sniffer dogs "employed" at Finland's Helsinki airport for the purpose. 

Passengers arriving at the airport are made dab their skin with a wipe, which is placed in a beaker next to others containing control scents. 

The dogs are then made to sniff out the solutions, and if they detect the virus, they either yelp, paw or lie down. The passenger is then made to take a swab test to verify the dog's finding. The canines which identify the correct samples are then rewarded with toys or food.

According to scientists, in theory, any breed of dog could be trained to sniff out the tell-tale chemicals produced by cells infected with the coronavirus, between two and 10 weeks. 

The chemicals are produced in patients who have active coronavirus infections, be it symptomatic or asymptomatic. 

A study by Prof Dominique Grandjean of the national veterinary school of Alfort in France, and his team, showed that eight dogs managed to sniff out sweat samples from COVID-19 patients on an average of 83%. 

Once peer-reviewed and cleared for implementation, Grandjean thinks the virus-sniffing dogs can be mobilised to schools, ports, airports, care homes, and other public venues. 

A similar research is underway in Germany, where dogs are trained to sniff saliva, rather than sweat samples. The animals reportedly managed to sniff out positive samples 83% of the time, and negative samples, an impressive 96% of the time. 

Dogs of the Shalaika breed - a cross between Arctic Nenets herding dogs known as Laikas and Southern Turkmen golden jackals, are also used in the airport in Moscow, Russia, to detect COVID-19 carrying patients. Russia is the fourth-worst hit country in the world, by the coronavirus, with more than 1.34 million people infected, and over 23,000 people dead from the disease. 

The global infection and death tally from the coronavirus has surpassed 38.7 million and 1.09 million deaths, respectively. 


Source: The Guardian, time.com, The Moscow Times
Photo source: The Guardian, time.com



Suggested Articles

Umno-s-Nazri-Aziz-Tests-Positive-For-COVID-19 News
ARTICLE
  • 19 Jan 2021

Umno's Nazri Aziz Tests Positive For COVID-19

Umno's Padang Rengas MP Mohamed Nazri Aziz has tested positive for COVID-19, a week after he held a press conference renouncing the country's leadership.

Floored-By-COVID-19-Pandemic-Businessman-Starts-Selling-RM3-Chicken-Briyani News
ARTICLE
  • 19 Jan 2021

Floored By COVID-19 Pandemic, Businessman Starts Selling RM3 Chicken Briyani!

The COVID-19 pandemic ruined M Karthigeyan's cleaning business. However, instead of giving up, the 36-year-old now runs a stall selling chicken briyani for just RM3 each!

Vizhuthugal-Samugathin-Kural-Moderators-Talk-About-Their-Experience-Hopes-For-The-Show News
ARTICLE
  • 18 Jan 2021

Vizhuthugal- Samugathin Kural Moderators Talk About Their Experience & Hopes For The Show

Here's a chat with the moderators of Vizhuthugal- Samugathin Kural on their experience, and hopes for the talk show.

Kerala-Govt-Honors-Malaysia-s-Rubber-Industry-Pioneer-BC-Sekhar News
ARTICLE
  • 18 Jan 2021

Kerala Govt Honors Malaysia's Rubber Industry Pioneer BC Sekhar

The Kerala state government has honored the late Malaysian rubber scientist B. C Sekhar by naming one of its soon-to-be established science and technology school within a university in the state, after him.

MCO-2-0-Here-Are-Some-Quick-Updates News
ARTICLE
  • 15 Jan 2021

MCO 2.0: Here Are Some Quick Updates

Here are some quick updates of what has happened since the re-enforced the MCO & CMCO to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.