US: Dogs are being trained to 'sniff out' COVID-19 cases

WION Web Team
Pennsylvania, United States of America Published: Apr 30, 2020, 04:43 PM(IST)

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According to experts, if this initiative succeeds, then it will 'revolutionize' screening for the deadly illness and the response towards it.

Eight Labrador retrievers are being trained at the University of Pennsylvania in the US to ''sniff out'' COVID-19 cases.

According to experts, if this initiative succeeds, then it will ''revolutionize'' screening for the deadly illness and the response towards it.

The reason behind particularly choosing this breed was their ''powerful noses'' as per the university.

The dogs are the first trainees in a research project of the University of Pennsylvania to determine whether canines can detect an odour associated with the coronavirus.

Also read: Are dogs going to help prevent a global second wave of COVID-19?

In a statement issued by the University, the dogs will be used as ''canine surveillance'' at airports, businesses and hospitals to prevent the pathogen from spreading.

A similar effort is underway in United Kingdom at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where researchers previously demonstrated that dogs could identify malaria infections in humans. 

Also read:  Can dogs detect COVID-19? Canines in training to sniff out virus

James Logan, head of the school’s disease control department, called canines a ''new diagnostic tool'' that ''could revolutionize our response to coronavirus.''

Research has proved that viruses have specific odours, said Cynthia M. Otto, director of the Working Dog Center at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dogs are already used to sniff out malaria, cancers and even a bacterium ravaging Florida’s citrus groves.

 

 

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