Sniffer dogs detect coronavirus in Germany, study claims efficacy is of 94%

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 04, 2021, 12:04 PM(IST)

Sniffer dog Photograph:( AFP )

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Who would have thought earlier that sniffer dogs that are used to find criminals and pieces of evidence will be used to detect Covid-19 too

The novel coronavirus has led to the creative use of various things and brought out resourcefulness that was not previously considered.

Who would have thought earlier that sniffer dogs that are used to find criminals and pieces of evidence will be used to detect Covid-19 too?

Also read | Scientists decode how coronavirus damages lung cells within hours

In a first, a veterinary clinic in Germany has trained sniffer dogs to detect the deadly virus from human saliva samples, claiming 94 per cent accuracy. 

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The dogs are conditioned to identify the "corona odour" that appears from cells in people infected with coronavirus, said Esther Schalke, a vet at Germany's armed forces school for service dogs.

"We did a study where we had dogs sniffing samples from Covid-positive patients and we can say that they have a 94 per cent probability in our study ... that they can sniff them out," Holger Volk, head of the veterinary clinic, was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.  

He added that these dogs can sniff out coronavirus cases of both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients. 

Filou, three-year-old Belgian Shepherd, and Joe Cocker, one-year-old Cocker Spaniel, are two dogs that are being trained for this purpose at the Hanover's University of Veterinary Medicine.

Stephan Weil, premier of Lower Saxony, said he was impressed with the research and called for feasibility tests before these dogs can be used to detect Covid-19.

Last September, Finland started training dogs to detect the virus at Finland's Helsinki-Vantaa airport for the passengers. 

Santiago international airport in Chile is also using canine detectors.
 

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