We all know that there are not enough tests to check everyone who might have Coronavirus. But there is a new discovery that could help us turn things around.
It has been found that dog can smell Coronavirus, and they can be used to sniff out and detect people who are infected, even if there are no visible symptoms.
How is this going to work?
In the past, Dogs have been used to detect diseases like cancer, malaria, and Parkinson’s disease. Doctors say that every disease makes people give out a unique odor, and dogs can be trained to identify that.
According to Dr Cynthia Otto:
“We know that all diseases seem to have a unique odor and we know that viruses themselves actually have a unique odor.”
Is it safe for the dogs to sniff sick humans?
Currently, dogs are being trained to practice detection on test samples. Soon enough, real human samples will be provided to the dogs so that their training can be completed.
Doctors have said that this is completely ethical, as the dogs will not catch the infection this way, and it will be safe for the people as well. According to Dr Soloway, who is an expert on these matters:
“There’s the canine strain, there’s the feline strain, or human strains. The dog in this case would not be subjected to becoming ill with the human strain, nor would the human be susceptible to get ill.”
Dogs will be at airports, railway stations, and everywhere else
Researchers say that dogs will be able to detect Coronavirus in human samples such as urine, saliva, and even breathe. Since there aren’t enough test kits available, and they take longer to provide results – dogs will come in handy.
Dogs could be employed at airports and railway stations to sniff out passengers.
“The purpose is to try to get them to be able to identify where there are 10,000 people getting off lots of aeroplanes… [have] these dogs kind of stationed around and rather than sniffing for only bombs, they’re sniffing for people that are carriers.”
Dogs are much faster and more efficient than test kits
This could prove extremely useful as a single dog can sniff out about 250 people per hour, which amounts to checking one person within less than 15 seconds.
Dogs can sniff out an infection which is as mild as the concentration of 1 gram of sugar in 1.25 million litres of water.
“Our previous work has shown that malaria has a distinctive odour, and with Medical Detection Dogs, we successfully trained dogs to accurately detect malaria. This, combined with the knowledge that respiratory disease can change body odour, makes us hopeful that the dogs can also detect Covid-19.”
As soon as this summer is over, dogs will be working full-time at these venues.
All Featured Images Courtesy: Daily Mail