A recent study implies that trained dogs can identify people with COVID-19, and they can sniff out the change in the scent of people of the metabolic processes.
According to a study published in the BMC Infectious Diseases journal, dogs can detect coronavirus patients after some training procedures. Eight dogs were trained for one week from the German Armed Forces to detect the virus in saliva samples. The dogs were given more than 1000 samples of infected and non-infected samples of saliva.
Trained dogs were able to detect the samples up to 94% correctly, where they identified positive samples (157) and negative samples (792). However, they were not able to detect 30 positive samples and gave a false positive response for 33 samples.
The pilot study was done at the University of Veterinary Medicine and Hannover Medical School by the German Armed Forces. An author of the study, Maren von Köckritz-Blickwede said,
“We think this works because the metabolic processes in the body of an infected patient are completely changed.”
She also added,
“We think that the dogs can detect a specific smell of the metabolic changes that occur in those patients.”
Experts and scientists suggest sending trained dogs to borders, airports, and sports events to detect infections. Researchers are looking forward to training dogs to identify the difference in flu, COVID-19, and other diseases. Previously, dogs have been trained to detect malaria, cancer, and some viral and bacterial infections.
Dog trainer, Esther Schalke from the Bundeswehr School of Official Dogs, proposed that the ability of dogs to detect odor is far better than the general public can imagine.
However, the researchers from the study are amazed by the findings and how quickly the dogs can be trained to distinguish COVID-19 samples.