To a ” rapid diagnosis and non-invasive “… and the nose wet ? An association supported by researchers in the uk trying to train dogs to identify people infected with the new coronavirus, after several successful testing with other diseases.
“We believe that dogs can detect the COVID-19, and that they will be able to very quickly screen for hundreds of people in order to know who should be tested and isolated “, said to AFP Claire Guest, founder and executive director of the association of Medical Detection Dogs.
In its training centre located in Milton Keynes, in central England, dogs are trained to recognize the smell of the virus among several samples. They must then report when they have been found before to be rewarded.
“We have evidence that dogs can detect bacteria and other diseases, therefore we believe that this project will make a huge difference in the ability to control the spread of the COVID-19 “, added Mrs. Guest, of which the association has already trained canines to detect cancer, or Parkinson’s disease.
She has been working since last month in connection with the researchers of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the university of Durham.
The dogs can smell the scent of the human with an ” extremely high accuracy “, according to James Logan, head of the department of disease control of the LSHTM.
There is, therefore, of “very likely” that they would be able to detect Covid-19 in the same way, he added, judging that they could “revolutionize our response” in the face of the pandemic, which has already made over 17 000 deaths in hospitals in the uk.
The team is given a goal to train the animals in six weeks, in order to be able to rapidly provide health authorities a “tool” of the ” rapid diagnosis and non-invasive “.
Once trained, the dogs will be used to identify travelers infected with the virus upon their arrival in the country or be deployed in other public spaces.