3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
With so many humans getting COVID-19, there just aren’t enough tests for everyone! Luckily, dogs might be able to provide a solution for this problem. Dogs have been known to sniff out different human health concerns such as cancer and low blood sugar, so scientists are currently looking to see if these pups can also smell the coronavirus.
How to Train Dogs for This
Individuals from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Medical Detection Dogs, and Durham University are all working together to find an answer to this possibility. In the past, they worked together to train dogs to detect malaria, so now they have a team of dogs ready to sniff out the coronavirus too.
What many humans don’t realize is that dogs have noses that are much more sensitive than a person’s nose. We can sense different health conditions and even the temperature of a human’s body. So, the researchers strongly believe that dogs will be able to smell the coronavirus too, but they still have to prove it.
Currently, humans are working on finding a way to get the smell of the virus from a patient and bring it to the dogs in training. From there, the dogs will sniff the sample and then alert their trainers when they find someone with that virus.
If the dogs are able to successfully recognize a unique scent in the virus, this could be huge for the current pandemic. The dogs could be ready to start sniffing humans for COVID-19 in as little as 6 weeks.
How Will This Affect the Pandemic?
Sniffing out the coronavirus is more than just a special trick though. This could help make the process of diagnosing humans much more efficient. Currently, there are a limited number of tests, so they don’t want to waste any of them on people that don’t have the virus.
Once trained, these dogs will be able to detect humans with the virus even in large crowds. Even if the humans don’t show any symptoms at the time, the dogs will still be able to smell it. Therefore, the dogs can sniff patients before they take a test to help decide who actually needs the test and who doesn’t have the coronavirus.
Also, these dogs could go to more populated areas such as the airport to keep everyone as safe as possible. They will be able to spot any sick individuals quickly, making it easier to find out who is at risk. With these amazing dogs working alongside humans, the pandemic could come to an end much sooner.
However, these dogs are still in training. Scientists have yet to confirm any of this, but it’s likely that the dogs will start working in the near future. To help make things easier for dogs and humans alike, make sure you continue to practice social distancing. And, of course, give your dog plenty of love and attention during this quarantine!
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