In a bid to develop a fast means of detecting the Coronavirus, British researchers are all set to conduct a test on dogs' ability to sniff and detect the virus. According to reports, at least six dogs including labradors and cocker spaniels will be given intensive training by giving them samples of the odour of COVID-19 patients from hospitals in London. During the training, they will be taught to distinguish the odour of COVID-19 patients to that those who are not infected.
The Britain government has given $606,000 towards this research which will be conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Durham University, and a British charity, Medical Detection Dogs. Researchers suggest that if the dogs are successful in identifying COVID patients, they can check up to 250 people in an hour. Further, the dogs can be used in public spaces and at airports to immediately detect the virus and contain its spread.
According to the charity Medical Detection Dogs, these dogs have been previously trained to detect diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Malaria. Meanwhile, researchers in the US and France are also attempting to train dogs to detect the virus.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that there is no evidence of pets spreading the Coronavirus to people. However, there have been a few cases where animals have contracted the virus from people. While a tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo had tested positive for the virus, a few cats in the US and Hong Kong have been tested positive.
First detected in China's Wuhan, at present, there are around 4,890,863 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection across the globe and the disease has led to the death of around 320,130 people. In a ray of hope, around 1,907,392 people are also reported to have recovered.