An officer with the Uniform Division of the United States Secret Service uses his dog to search a checkpoint near the home of President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Washington. The U.S. Secret Service says agents have intercepted packages containing “possible explosive devices” addressed to former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
One of the bright spots amidst the gloom of Coronavirus coverage has been the innovative ways in which people have responded — be it serenading one another from balconies and rooftops, or switching up store hours to allow for seniors-only shopping time, or people sewing masks.
The pups have been getting in on the action, as well. As I wrote the other day, a service dog in Denver has been providing emotional support for stressed hospital staff.
Now, BBC News is reporting on the potential for dogs being trained to detect Coronavirus through the use of their powerful sniffers.
Specialist sniffer dogs are to be tested to see if they can detect coronavirus.
The charity Medical Detection Dogs has already trained dogs to spot the scent of malaria, cancer and Parkinson’s.
It plans trials on the current pandemic virus with Durham University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Medical Detection Dogs said each disease had its own unique odour.
Dogs could be ready in six weeks to help provide a “rapid, non-invasive diagnosis”, it said.
They could potentially also be trained to tell if someone had a fever.
What’s the practical effect of this? Durham University’s Professor Steve Lindsay, cited in the article, notes that the use of properly trained medical detection dogs could very well help mitigate against additional waves/re-emergence of the virus.
That’s a heckuva lot less invasive and involved than our current testing capabilities. If this pans out, we’d be looking at a quick, efficient way to help ferret (or dog) out those who have contracted the disease — without placing healthcare providers/technicians at unnecessary risk. And it would cut down on the need for PPE’s, as well.
Here’s to the doggos – once again demonstrating why they are “man’s best friend.”