Sniffer Dogs A Possible Deterrent To Curbing The Spread Of COVID-19.
It’s no secret that dogs play a significant role in our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. However so, our beloved pets could assume a more critical role in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To those of us who view dogs only as our quiet and unimposing best friends, there is a lot more to their sniffing abilities than what meets the eye. Yes, in the medical field, dogs have been responsible for helping sniff out cancer, detect changes in blood sugar levels, as well as detecting harmful bacteria in hospitals–well, at least as far as medically trained dogs are concerned.
But that was until very recently when the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus led to the unexpected and unlikely discovery that dogs are equally competent at sniffing out the disease in its early to later stages.
A UK based non-profit organization, Medical Detection Dogs, is in the process of training dogs in the art of detecting the coronavirus. If this proves to be breakthrough research, dogs trained to sniff out COVID-19 could arm medical professionals around the world in the fight against one of the worst pandemics the world has seen in decades.
If successful, their research could raise the alarm to asymptomatic carriers who travel in airports and other mediums of transportation.
In an exclusive interview on BBC, Medical Detection Dogs revealed that every virus knows to man has a particular scent, each different from the next. Unfortunately, this unique smell isn’t detectable by human senses, but only detectable by specially trained dogs.
Naturally, your dog can smell something well before you can, something explained by the proven fact that dogs have over 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, in stark contrast to humans, who only have 6 million.
Their research has further revealed that, when it comes to the detection of malignant diseases like malaria, dogs are more reliable than World Health Organisation detection standards. This makes them more efficient, secure, and less invasive than conventional tests, thereby becoming a cheaper and faster alternative.
Going forward into the unpredictable future, dogs could play a lead role in curbing the further spread of the virus.
Taking an estimated 6 weeks to train, field trials will then be carried out by Medical Detection Dogs, in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Durham University.
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