Dogs if trained can identify people infected by COVID19, says a study carried out by a German veterinary university.
According to media reports, 8 dogs from Germany’s armed forces were trained for a week.
After the week-long training, the dogs were able to accurately identify the virus with a 94% success rate, said the study, which is a pilot project led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover.
The researchers of the university challenged the dogs to sniff out COVID19 in the saliva of more than 1,000 healthy and infected people.
“We think that this works because the metabolic processes in the body of a diseased patient are completely changed,” the report quoted Maren von Koeckritz-Blickwede, a professor at the university, as saying in a YouTube video regarding the project.
“We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell,” the professor added.
According to the researchers, dogs have a sense of smell around 1,000 times more sensitive than humans.
They said dogs could be deployed to detect COVID19 infections at places such as airports, border crossings and sporting events with the proper training.
The study was conducted jointly with the German armed forces, the Hannover Medical School and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported 69,641 new COVID19 cases in the US, 67,860 in Brazil, 49,310 in India, and 13,104 in South Africa.
India recently became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million COVID19 infections, behind the US and Brazil.