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Can dogs detect coronavirus in people?

 Medical detection dogs are already being used to identify cancer, malaria, and Parkinson's. The specially trained dogs are capable of sniff testing 750 people in an hour

Can dogs detect coronavirus in people?
Bengaluru, First Published Apr 28, 2020, 4:55 PM IST
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According to reports, specially trained detection dogs can be the solution to detect coronavirus in people. These specially trained medical detection dogs are capable of sniff testing 750 people an hour, according to the head of a non-profit which trains medical dogs.

An LSHTM press release published in late March talks about the experimental project, which is seeking to establish whether the dogs can reliably detect COVID-19 in the way they can other diseases.

Britain's Daily Mirror tabloid said the plan is to train six dogs if the initial trials are successful, according to an April 17 report.

The training involves the dogs being given coronavirus patients' face masks to sniff and discover if COVID-19 has a unique odour that can be identified by a dog's enhanced senses of smell, the Mirror said.

It will take several weeks of experimentation before it’s known if dogs are able to identify coronavirus.

Professor James Logan, the head of the department of disease control at LSHTM, said, "It's early days for COVID-19 odour detection. We do not know if COVID-19 has a specific odour yet, but we know that other respiratory diseases change our body odour so there is a chance that it does.

"And if it does, dogs will be able to detect it. This new diagnostic tool could revolutionize our response to COVID-19."

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