COVID-19 Detection Dogs
Medical detection dogs being trained to detect Covid-19.
11:30 03 May 2020
The Medical Detection Dogs charity has partnered with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham Univerity to see if medical attention dogs can be trained to detect Covid-19.
The project, which is the first in the world, involves dogs that have already been trained to detect diseases such as cancer, malaria and Parkinson's disease. During their training, they will receive samples of fabric worn by coronavirus patients to see if Covid-19 has a unique odour that can be detected.
Professor James Logan. the Head of the Department of Disease Control at the LSHTM, said: "It's exciting because the project could move at speed as there are six dogs ready to be trained."
Meanwhile, Dr Claire Guest, CEO and founder of the Medical Detection Dogs charity, said: "There have already been so many fantastic achievements in the dogs' work to detect human disease, and I believe they can be trained to sniff out Covid-19.
"When resources and testing kits are low, hundreds of people can't be tested in one go. But the dogs can screen up to 750 people really quickly. By identifying who needs to be tested and self-isolate, they can stop the spread.
"They offer a fast, effective and non-invasive way to ensure limited NHS testing resources are used only where they are really needed. The dogs can help make a profound impact on the spread of this delay disease. Their ability is incredible."