According to a study by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Hawaii School of Veterinary Medicine, dogs are being trained to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this study they explain that four dogs were trained to recognize COVID-19 from human sweat. All four are part of a larger study devoted to the emerging "science of dogs" to combat pandemics.
The investigation began in March and for this purpose, six dogs were recruited with previous training in different fields: from bomb location to colon cancer detection, through search and rescue missions. They had to be retrained in the recognition of COVID-19.
These sniffer dogs are sensitive to the smell of the Coronavirus
One of the steps in their retraining is the management of scent lines, that is: to appreciate nuances that allow them to distinguish some odors from others, highlighting the human smell and learning to perceive their diseases through smell.
If the results are proven affirmative and the dogs progress in detecting COVID-19, as well as other diseases, the authorities are considering the possibility of using these dogs to sniff out the trail of COVID in large groups of people.
Used dogs start from a previous training in other types of detections, which favors a rapid retraining, so it would not be strange that in a relatively short period of time, this method is implemented in international airports.
There is another parallel investigation in Helsinki, with the same purpose: the detection of travelers with COVID, even asymptomatic. But it is not the only one: Medical Detection Dogs has already worked with LSHTM and Durham University to successfully demonstrate that they can be trained to detect malaria.
The dogs have been trained, not only to detect the smell from a distance, but also to protect both the person to be controlled and their own handler.