Dogs have odor receptors 10 times more powerful and accurate than humans. This allows certain trained dogs to detect diseases such as cancer, malaria and viral infections. Writes about it CNBC.
According to German researchers, specially trained dogs can detect coronavirus.
A new study that was tested by the Hannover University of Veterinary Medicine, the Hannover Medical School and the German Armed Forces showed that with proper training, dogs can distinguish human saliva samples infected with SARS-CoV-2 with 94% accuracy.
The value of this discovery is that this detection method could someday be used in public places such as airports, sporting events and other public events to help prevent future COVID-19 outbreaks.
For the study, researchers trained eight dogs from the German armed forces for one week. Trained dogs sniffed the saliva of over 1000 people who were either healthy or infected with the virus. The samples infected with the coronavirus were randomly distributed, and neither the dog handlers nor the researchers knew where they were.
Maren von Keckritz-Blikwede, a university professor who conducted the study, says they believe dogs can do this because the infected person's metabolic processes "change completely."
“We think dogs are able to detect the specific smell of metabolic changes that occur in these patients,” she says.
Von Keckritz-Blikwede says that while further research is needed, the next step will be to train dogs to distinguish COVID-19 samples from other diseases such as the flu.
Dogs can contract the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there is no evidence that animals play an important role in its spread.