Could dogs help in the detection of COVID-19? Studies suggest it’s possible

Results show high evidence that dogs can detect a person infected by COVID-19

Dog snout.

Leave it to man’s best friend to lend us a hand -- err, paw -- during a worldwide pandemic. At least, that’s what some researchers are hinting at.

According to a couple of recent studies, there is substantial evidence that dogs could detect a person infected by COVID-19 by sniffing out his or her odor.

Dogs, by nature, have this superpower, if you will, to use their sense of smell in unique ways. In fact, dogs are also known for being able to detect things like pregnancy, different types of cancer, Parkinson’s disease and malaria, as well as aid people with diabetes and those who suffer from seizures and migraines, according to Understanding Animal Research.

Having said that, it’s not a total shock that dogs could possibly sniff out and detect COVID-19 in someone, but still, really cool, right?

One recent study, conducted in May 2020 and posted June 5 on bioRxiv, details the study. Though small, the results prove to be hopeful.

In this study, a total of 198 armpits sweat samples (101 positive samples and 97 negative samples) were gathered from three different areas in Europe. At each location, both positive and negative sample collections were taken to be used in the study.

The dogs then took one to four hours to sniff samples that included anywhere from four to 10 positives.

Through the evidence found in this study, researchers concluded that there’s “high evidence that dogs can detect a person infected by the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease.”


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