The military in France wants to use dogs to spot coronavirus. According to their hypothesis, dog-detectors can be useful for identifying the virus in public places – for example, supermarkets, airports, and crowded streets. Animal experiments began in two countries – the UK and the USA.
This initiative is based on the new hypothesis of researchers from the French National Veterinary School. They suggested that the coronavirus molecules have an odor, but it is elusive to humans. According to researchers, only experienced sniffer dogs, such as German shepherds, can smell them. “The first results of the experiment inspired us, but it’s too early to draw global conclusions about the effectiveness of our method,” said Eric Gully, research consultant.
Regardless of the French researchers, the same hypothesis was put forward by scientists in the United States. If the experiment is successful, then according to their calculations, one dog will be able to test for the virus up to 250 people, which will reduce the need for tests and will speed up the work of crowded places.
Dogs have already been used to diagnose other diseases. For example, in 2017, the staff at the Curie Institute in Paris were able to teach dogs to detect breast cancer with high accuracy. At the same time, scientists from the University of Manchester are training dogs to recognize Parkinson’s disease a few years before the first signs of the disease appear. Pets, particularly dogs, are also taught at the NHS Hospital at Buckinghamshire Medical Center.