“A revolutionary tool in the fight against coronavirus” – this is what their research was called at the Helsinki Institute. Finnish scientists have found that dogs can detect people with coronavirus COVID-19 by smell. So far, however, only biomaterial.
But in the future, animals are expected to be trained to detect infected people – simply by the smell of a walking person. The error in determining coronavirus is the same as when using medical tests, scientists say. It is also important that dogs have successfully identified diseases before . For example, malaria and even cancer.
“Our experience has shown that the disease has a characteristic odor, and we have successfully trained dogs to detect malaria accurately,” says Professor James Logan, lead researcher in this work and head of the department of disease control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “We also know that respiratory diseases can change the smell coming from humans. So we hope that dogs can also detect COVID-19.”
The Helsinki Institute claims that the training took only a few weeks. Another thing is that we are talking about prepared animals. Dog handlers believe that it will take years of work to put such a search for the sick into the stream, as is now happening with explosives or drugs.
“This virus is not understandable to anyone, it is not known to anyone – and only Finnish dogs understood everything about it in three weeks – this is an overly bold statement,” said dog handler Vitaly Orlov. “If after a while this information can somehow be structured, then it can benefit society. “
Scientists believe that dogs that can identify patients with coronavirus could be used at airports, nursing homes, and when examined in hospitals.
Can the dog become infected? According to the latest data, yes. But the dog cannot be a virus carrier , and her disease is almost asymptomatic.
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