Sniffer dogs trained to sniff out the SARS-CoV-2 virus could help track infected people at airports, sporting events, or other large crowds, Reuters reports. British scientists said the dogs have been trained to smell socks worn by people with the virus.
COVID-trained dogs could test hundreds of people and detect 94.3% accuracy those infected. “Dogs could be a great way to screen a large number of people quickly and prevent COVID-19 from being re-introduced into the UK,” said Steve Lindsay, a professor at Durham University’s department of biosciences who worked on the study in Reuters.
Some experts say that we have a ways to go before scent dogs for COVID become the norm. More planning, standards, and information are necessary before the dogs are rolled out on a large scale. “There are no national standards” for scent dogs, shared Cynthia M. Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and one of the study authors, in the New York Times.
Lois Privor-Dumm, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins University was wary. “What are all the ethical considerations? What are the regulatory considerations? How practical is this?” she asked. The cost, specifics of scent and have multiple dogs learning ways to sniff out Covid are all concerns for scientists.
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