These dogs can sniff out COVID-19
and could soon be used at mass gatherings to pick up the 'corona odor'
CLAIRE GUEST, MEDICAL DETECTION DOGS FOUNDER SAYING:
"I've been working with these dogs and it is quite amazing how accurately they can detect the odour of Covid-19 from a small piece of sock worn seven months ago. This could make a huge difference as we start to come out of lockdown and people start to travel and will hopefully assist in getting us all back to a more normal life as soon as possible."
The results are part of an early stage study
Researchers say it even works on asymptomatic or mild cases
PROFESSOR STEVE LINDSAY, DURHAM UNIVERSITY SAYING:
"First of all we collected odour samples from people with and without Covid. So we gave them face masks to wear, nylon socks and shirts to capture the odours. And then we did some very serious chemical analysis on those samples to see whether there was a Covid smell. And then we trained six of our dogs to identify whether they could discriminate between people with Covid and those without from their smell. And the third and final element was we used mathematical modelling to see how we could best use dogs."
The dogs could screen a line of several hundred people in 30 minutes
CLAIRE GUEST, MEDICAL DETECTION DOGS FOUNDER SAYING:"The ability of dogs never ceases to amaze me. The outcome of this work will mean that the dogs could be used for rapid, non-invasive diagnosis of people who have the virus even when they have no symptoms or before they know they are unwell."