Can Dogs Smell The Coronavirus – A group of dogs is currently being trained to detect the smell of coronavirus in the United Kingdom. Medical detections dogs could be a valuable qualitative development to detect patients with Covid-19. The optimism for the success of this project is based on the fact that dogs previously demonstrated that they can detect odours from humans infected with malaria, and people with cancer and Parkinson. And with extremely high accuracy as well.
Knowing that dogs could smell around 250 people per hour, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Medical Detection Dogs Organization and Durham University launched this project to train six dogs, for six weeks. The plan is not completed yet. Professor James Logan, the head of the department of disease control at LSHTM, said: “We do not know if COVID-19 has a specific odor yet”. Dog experts are choosing carefully few breeds for this program like the Spaniels and the Retrievers, known for their high trainability and superior sense of smelling. Knowing they possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million for humans. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than humans.
The other advantage this project could have in case it reaches positive results, is that service dogs are already helping humans in various aspects of their lives. Noticeably police dogs trained to smell explosives and drugs, working at the airports and in different other locations. So humans are used to working with our canine companions and in case dogs will be able to smell the coronavirus, this will be revolution in our fight against this disease.
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