Covid-19 has a smell only some dogs can sense. In Thailand, 6 dogs have been trained at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Veterinary Science to sniff out the coronavirus. Apparently, the dogs are 95% accurate at identifying those infected with the virus, even those who are asymptomatic.
Researchers gathered sweat samples from Covid-19 patients, using cotton swabs to soak up perspiration from the patients’ armpits and collecting sweaty socks. The cotton swabs and socks were put in cans for dogs to sniff. When a dog smells a sample that contains Covid-19, it immediately sits down, according to the head of the research project and the faculty’s associate dean for research and innovation, Kaywalee Chatdrong.
“Since dogs’ sense of smell is 50 times better than humans, we decided to train Labrador Retrievers as they have long snouts, a good sense of smell and are friendly… In the future, we will train dogs to detect patients with other diseases, such as diabetes, depression, malaria and Alzheimer’s.”
While temperature checks can help detect cases for those with a fever, the dogs will be able to detect asymptomatic cases.
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