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Sniffer dogs could be used to detect COVID-19

Sniffer dogs could be used to detect COVID-19

THAILAND: Sniffer dogs could soon be employed at major transport hubs to detect COVID-19 in humans, the head of a pilot project at Chulalongkorn University has confirmed.

CoronavirusCOVID-19animalshealthSafetyimmigration
By The Phuket News

Thursday 18 March 2021, 09:46AM


A dog in training to detect the COVID-19 coronavirus in Songkhla, on Mar 3. Photo: Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production/Handout.

A dog in training to detect the COVID-19 coronavirus in Songkhla, on Mar 3. Photo: Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production/Handout.

A recent six-month project by the university saw six Labrador Retrievers undergo a series of tasks where they proved to be 95% accurate in identifying the coronavirus in human sweat.

One such task was detecting the sweat of a human infected with COVID-19 on a selected can of six placed on a spinning wheel.

The dogs are able to detect a volatile organic compound secreted in the sweat of those infected with COVID-19, even when there is an absence of disease symptoms, researchers confirmed.

“The dogs take only one to two seconds to detect the virus,” said Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong, the leader of the project at the university’s veterinary faculty.

“Within a minute, they will manage to go through 60 samples,” he added.

Internal - Phuket Live Radio 89.5

Prof Kaywalee explained that it would not be necessary for the dogs to actually sniff people directly but that sweat samples could be screened, something that sould not pose any problems in tropical climates such as Thailand.

Other countries that have launched similar efforts by utilising sniffer dogs include Germny, India, Finland and Chile.

Last month, a veterinary clinic in Germany confirmed its sniffer dogs had scored 94% detection accuracy in human saliva samples.

The next step will be to actually utilise the sniffer dogs in the real world, added Prof Kaywalee.

“In the future, when we send them to airports or ports, where there is an influx of commuters, they will be much faster and more precise in detecting the virus than temperature checks,” she said.

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Kurt | 19 March 2021 - 12:52:03

Great initiative. Forgive me to ask, why I never see sniffer dogs at airports, inte rnational/domestic, checking passengers luggage on forbidden items/drugs? Or at Sarrasin bridge?

 

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