Dogs; man’s best friend and COVID’s new worst enemy. Amongst the latest tricks, our furry little companions are trained to do is detecting those who are infected with the novel coronavirus. Researchers in France claims to have successfully taught dogs how to make the determination by sniffing armpits.
“A new study that has seen pilot programs spring up around the world has discovered that dogs can sniff out coronavirus in the sweat of humans” reports Study Finds. Our four-legged friends have proven to be between 75 and 100 percent effective at detecting the disease according to an experiment conducted by French scientists.
Little did we know, hero puppies are popping up around the globe; “the technique has already been piloted in several countries including the UEA, Lebanon, Finland, Australia, and elsewhere.” Researchers are “trying to prove without a doubt that dogs can pick up the scent before the method is fully adopted,” writes Study Finds.
A relief from the awkward nasal swabs and waiting for test results could soon be on its way. Professor Dominique Grandjean of the National Veterinary School of Alfort in France says a simple sniff from armpit sweat could allow dogs to check large numbers of people very quickly. “The results are good and I’m happy, really happy” said Grandjean. “It is a success technically and scientifically and it’s surprising because we didn’t’ know what we were going to have as results.”
Even more promising, Grandjean added, “we have been validated by the World Health Organization and they have given us a bit of money which is good.” The United Arab Emirates reportedly is the “most advanced now” and even has dogs in three international airports. “They are deploying some mobile units to go to the villages and to the people that might be more exposed to the virus” said Grandjean.
“For us here the idea was, of course, the airports but I can imagine a small city having a couple of dogs and just saying to the populations ‘you can be tested whenever you want.’ You just come and put a swab under your armpit and give that to the dog and he will tell you yes or no. The dogs would be able to do that very quickly on a large number of people” added Grandjean.