Dogs trained to detect Covid-19

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.

Dogs trained to detect COVID19 - Béjar masks - Surgical masks - Dogs and COVID

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.

Dogs trained to detect COVID19 - Béjar masks - Surgical masks - Dogs and COVID

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.

Dogs trained to detect COVID19 - Béjar masks - Surgical masks - Dogs and COVID

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.