Dogs could screen passengers arriving at airports for coronavirus , it is claimed.Dr Claire Guest, CEO of Medical Detection Dogs – which already does pioneering work in cancer research and diabetes detection – believes that dogs could also be trained to sniff out coronavirus, even in asymptomatic cases.
She said: ‘If you can imagine 500 people coming off a plane, you need to detect quickly which patients need the test and need to be isolated. The dog could work very rapidly. It makes the progress of the disease much easier to track.’
Dogs would do rapid screening of passengers, who would then have a medical test to confirm if they had the disease if they were flagged.Dr Guest told This Morning that dogs have an incredibly precise sense of smell, able to pick up on human blood sugar levels, cortisol levels, cancer and Parkinson’s, for example. She said a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in the equivalent of two Olympic sized swimming pools, whereas a human can detect it in a cup of tea.
To be able to detect coronavirus, a dog would need to learn the smell of it using samples from patients.
Make sure your pet is in good company. Pets get lonely and depressed just like people do when they spend too much time alone. Cats are generally better on their own, but dogs and especially puppies don’t do well left to their own devices for extended periods of time.
The charity has a crowdfunding appeal to raise £1,000,000 to carry out more research into the potential, which they claim could take pressure off the NHS which only has capacity for limited testing.
They said: ‘Dogs are one of the world’s greatest biosensors, capable of detecting odours associated with drugs, explosives and food and are now being used in practice for public health.‘In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, there is a chance that we could use dogs as a rapid diagnostic screen to detect infected individuals and we need your help to get this project off the ground.
The rescue dog is thought to have been tortured and beaten by his previous owners (Picture: Joanne Lowen) But Menios is now settling in to a loving and warm home (Picture: Joanne Lowen)Most of the time it cannot spread outside but once it breaks out onto the breast tissue it can occasionally spread to other parts of the body.
The money will be used to collect odour samples from patients infected with coronavirus as well as a sample group who do on have the virus.
These samples will be given to five dogs that are already trained in detecting conditions through smell.
If their training with Covid-19 is successful, the dogs could be deployed to airports or public spaces in order to provide non-invasive triage screening for the deadly infection.
‘These dogs can screen up to 750 people per hour and would support ongoing efforts to test for Covid-19,’ the charity said.
Focus on the Human-Animal Bond. “Dogs and cats have broken down the walls of our hearts. There haven’t been comparable domesticated species in 5,000 years.” For Dr. Becker, it’s clear that pets and people have evolved to benefit each other. He explains, “When you’re petting them, you both get this massive release of oxytocin, prolactin, dopamine, and a decrease in cortisol. It’s a reciprocal biochemical spa treatment.” As they age, it can be easy to take pets for granted. Make time for a little human-animal bonding every day.
‘Once we have trained the first dogs and have set training protocols, we could engage other agencies, at home and abroad, to increase the number of working teams.’
Medical Detection Dogs has made it clear that it has not yet been proved that Covid-19 has a distinctive odour, but it believes that if it does, the charity’s dogs will be able to detect it.Any unspent funds raised will be donated to the Covid-19 Response Fund, the charity said.
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