Researchers in Thailand have successfully trained six sniffer Labrador retrievers as part of a six-month pilot project to identify the coronavirus in just two seconds. IoL quotes reports as saying that researchers from Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University led by Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong said coronavirus patients emitted a distinct scent through their perspiration which allowed the sniffer dogs to detect the virus.
“The dogs are different from the usual temperature-screening methods in that they can detect those who may have the virus but are asymptomatic, with no fever,” Chatdarong said in the report. “The dogs will be able to detect these people. Their accuracy rate of detecting patients is 94.8%,” she said.
She added that the team is looking to send the sniffer dogs to spaces with large groups of people such as airports, and that the dogs need not sniff people directly but could screen samples of sweat.
The researchers believe the sniffer dogs would be a more efficient method in these cases than temperature checks.
IoL reports that Thailand is not the first country to adopt the sniffer dog method. Countries such as India and Chile have also reportedly trained dogs to be used at airports.
[link url="https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/thailand-successfully-trains-dogs-to-sniff-out-covid-19-in-seconds-8795aa02-24eb-5080-aac2-17b01e783a64"]Full IoL report (Open access)[/link]
See also MedicalBrief archives:
[link url="https://www.medicalbrief.co.za/archives/helsinki-airport-covid-19-sniffer-dogs-start-trials/"]Helsinki Airport Covid-19 sniffer dogs start trials[/link]
[link url="https://www.medicalbrief.co.za/archives/uks-first-covid-sniffing-dogs-start-training-at-london-school-of-hygiene-and-tropical-medicine/"]UK’s first Covid-sniffing dogs start training at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine[/link]