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Sniffer dogs trained to sniff out the SARS-CoV-2 virus could help track down infected people at airports, sporting events or other large crowds, reports Reuters. British scientists said the dogs were trained to smell socks worn by people with the virus.
COVID-trained dogs could test hundreds of people and identify those infected with 94.3% accuracy. “Dogs could be a great way to quickly screen large numbers of people and prevent COVID-19 from re-introducing the UK,” said Steve Lindsay, a professor in Durham University’s Department of Biosciences who participated in the study in Reuters has collaborated.
Some experts say we still have a way to go before scented dogs become the norm for COVID. Before the dogs are rolled out on a large scale, further planning, standards and information are required. “There are no national standards” for scented dogs, Cynthia M. Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a study author, told the New York Times.
Lois Privor-Dumm, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins University, was cautious. “What are all the ethical considerations? What are the regulatory considerations? How practical is that? ”She asked. The cost, the specifics of the smell, and the fact that several dogs are learning to sniff out Covid are of concern to scientists.
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