Dogs could in fact revolutionize the hunt for Covid-19 by sniffing
But what if dogs can do that? Scientists in London say that dogs could in fact revolutionize the hunt for Covid-19 by sniffing out subtle odors produced by the virus when within the human body.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is crowdfunding a project to train canines to detect healthy-seeming people who haven’t necessarily realized yet they are carriers. If the project is successful, the animal detectives could be working across Britain by the summer.
Dogs with a highly developed sense of smell are already used to diagnose many medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and several types of cancer.
The LSHTM itself has already trained up animals”-labradors and cocker spaniels tend to be especially suited”-to detect malaria. Their success rate far exceeds required WHO standards, the center says.
If the project works, the dogs could be deployed to screen staff at hospitals and care homes and, once regular travel resumes, sniff out unwitting carriers at airports and rail stations. Capable of screening thousands of people per day, the dogs could be a key tool for getting daily life back to normal quickly and safely.