Passengers at Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa airport have the option of a different COVID-19 test done by dogs. A team of 15 dogs is being trained to sniff out the new coronavirus. Some of them have been used before to detect cancers. The passenger swipes their neck with a gauze, which is placed in a can. Then the dog goes to work, delivering the result immediately. And, according to researchers, they can detect the disease in the early stages. But the canine’s efficiency has not been proven so whoever gets a positive also needs to take an old-school swab test to confirm the result. They say the dogs can detect the virus 5 days before symptoms appear. Watch the video:
Trials are going ahead to see if dogs could provide a non-invasive way of detecting the coronavirus. Six dogs - labradors and cocker spaniels - will be given samples of the odour of COVID-19 patients from London hospitals, and taught to distinguish their smell from that of people who are not infected. The British government has allocated £500,000 in funding for the trials, which will be part of research into possible ways to detect the virus early.
Meanwhile researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are training dogs to detect coronavirus by scent, a method which could potentially be used to conduct mass screenings in public spaces like airports or stadiums.