The sense of smell of dogs is very useful, they can have 100,000 times the smelling ability of humans and they can sniff out explosives or drugs. Therefore, these pooches are the closest friends of police officers. Scientists at France’s National Veterinary School have revealed that dogs are experts at sniffing out COVID-19, with an accuracy close to PCR tests.
In Dubai, specially trained police dogs were used to assist police to detect passengers who have SARS-CoV-2 arriving at Dubai International Airport. Similar research is underway at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
In the near future, it is likely that our four-legged friends will sniff out COVID-19 at airports to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus among travelers. With the special study, sweet samples from the armpits of 335 people were tested by PCR and there are 109 people who were positive. Nine dogs were trained to sniff out signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection can indicate positive samples with an impressive sensitivity of 97%.
Of course, using trained dogs is the basis for supporting rapid tests to detect infected people at the earliest. However, we still need a PCR test to determine whether a person is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19).
On another research conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Germany, published in July 2020. Eight dogs were trained for a week to detect SARS-CoV-2 in saliva or tracheal secretions from people with COVID-19. The research found that the dogs determined the difference between positive and negative samples. On average, dogs can identify correctly 82.63% of positive samples as positive and 96.35% of negative samples as negative.
There is still a lot of research needed to conduct before applying widely in airports, but this may offer a new hope to detect infected people in time, prevent the pandemic as soon as possible.
Can Dachshunds be police dogs to detect COVID-19?
Dachshund is a small and may be a tough dog breed. Used to be bred to hunt badgers both above and below ground. As one of the top 10 dog breeds have the best sense of smell and this dog breed is very smart, the dachshund is an ideal choice to assist police officers to detect COVID-19. However, these four-legged friends are not easy to train to be police dogs because they are so mischievous. So they should better be owned at home.
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