To detect the coronavirus in human saliva samples, a German veterinary clinic has trained sniffer dogs to detect with 94 percent accuracy.
Esther Schalke, a vet at Germany’s armed forces school for service dogs said that the dogs are conditioned to scent out the “corona odor” that comes from cells in infected people.
Two dogs that being trained at the Hanover’s University of Veterinary Medicine are Filou, a 3-year-old Belgian Shepherd, and Joe Cocker, a 1-year-old Cocker Spaniel.
“We did a study where we had dogs sniffing samples from Covid-positive patients and we can say that they have a 94 percent probability in our study … that they can sniff them out. So dogs can really sniff out people with infections and without infections, as well as asymptomatic and symptomatic Covid patients,” said Holger Volk, head of the veterinary clinic.
In Finland, dogs trained to detect the novel coronavirus began sniffing passenger samples at Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa airport last September, in a pilot project alongside more usual testing at the airport.
Chile’s Santiago international airport is also using canine detectors.