Dogs are known to be special olfactory animals, with the ability to smell more sensitive and accurate than humans 10,000 times. With this special ability, dogs are even trained to detect diseases such as cancer, malaria and viral infections.
Notably, dogs that have undergone several days of “training” can now sniff people with COVID-19 with great accuracy.
In particular, a new study recently conducted by the Hannover Veterinary University, the Hannover Medical School and the German Armed Forces shows that, if properly trained, dogs can distinguish between saliva samples of people SARS-CoV-2 infection and uninfected person, with an accuracy rate of up to 94%.
According to CNBC, this study opens up a whole new way of detecting COVID-19, when dogs with a sense of smell about 10,000 times more sensitive than humans can be deployed to detect infections in public places. plus airports, border gates, and sporting events with lots of people involved.
It is known that, to carry out this study, the scientists trained 8 dogs of the German army within 1 week. During training, these dogs were sniffed with saliva samples from more than 1,000 people, including healthy people and people infected with COVID-19. The saliva samples of people infected with COVID-19 are randomly distributed.
According to the team, dogs are able to detect people infected with COVID-19 because the metabolism of infected people is “completely changed” compared to normal people.
“We think dogs can detect a specific odor emanating from the patient, when their metabolism changes,” said the team. The team also said that the next step in the study will train dogs to distinguish COVID-19 samples from other illnesses such as influenza.
The study was published in the health journal BMC Infectious Diseases on July 23.
Refer to CNBC