Schools, hospitals and businesses in the UK are considering using Covid sniffer dogs with more traditional detection methods as a new method of virus detection.
One Study in the UK A study published by an academic consortium in May of this year found that compared with lateral flow tests, canines have a better record of detecting the presence of Covid-19 in the human body, and its accuracy level is no different from the “gold standard” PCR test. Far.
Organizations across the country have been growing interest in whether they can deploy specially trained dogs to detect Covid at nightclubs, bars, conferences, schools, hospitals, and airport entrances.
American production and distribution company Amazon Studios recently used trained dogs to screen more than 200 actors and crews for a feature film shot in London.
In the fall, the British government and the consortium held talks on the use of Covid sniffer dogs at the COP26 climate summit to check the daily activities of thousands of tourists in Glasgow.
In the end, the ministers decided not to continue because they feared that representatives from about 200 countries might have “cultural sensitivity” to animals.
Covid sniffer dogs have also been trialled in other countries.last year Helsinki Airport Ran a pilot, and recently, the police 38 sniffer dogs trained in Dubai According to Reuters, in order to detect the virus.
James Logan, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who conducted the study in collaboration with the charity Medical Detection Dogs and Durham University, said that different cancers and diseases have their own “odor signatures” that can be detected by guns such as Brad Retriever and Cocker Spaniel.
“We are not saying that dogs can replace LFT and PCR, but they may be an additional tool in some cases,” he said. “Two dogs can inspect an entire plane with more than 300 people in just 30 minutes.”
Claire Guest, Chief Executive Officer of Medical Detection Dogs, said: “A lot of people and organizations are interested in this. We have a great opportunity to innovate in the UK[with]. . . last phase [trials] In the workplace. .. Some NHS partners, the school is very interested in this. “
Covid-19 has a “very, very unique smell”, which means that it is not difficult for animals to detect it even in a crowd.
“They can do this very quickly, it only takes 0.5 seconds to tell if someone has Covid,” she said.
This study, partially funded by the Ministry of Health, used six dogs to sniff more than 3,500 odor samples. These animals have detected the presence of the Sars-Cov-2 virus with an accuracy rate between 82% and 94%.
This is not as effective as the PCR test, which has a sensitivity of 97%, but is more successful than the lateral flow test, which detects on average 72% of symptomatic casesAnd 58% of asymptomatic infections.
However, unlike LFT, when people are mistakenly identified as having Covid, these dogs do have a large number of false positives. However, the author of the report believes that forcing a small number of people to perform PCR verification is less destructive than testing the entire group.
After completing the first study in a controlled environment, the consortium is advancing field trials with up to 20 dogs.
“We have discussed with many organizations, including local government, not just in the UK, airlines, airports and workplaces,” Logan said.
Amazon Studio used two dogs during the filming and conducted regular tests at the same time The person we hate at the wedding.
Rich Gold, Covid Compliance Officer at Amazon Studios, said: “The results are very good. We use them to test supporting artists who will be in close contact with the main actors, and pointed out that using dogs is also a more sustainable way than ordering plastic testing.
“We are dealing with an industry in which you have to travel to different locations every day and if one person is infected with Covid, it may shut down production worth millions of dollars.
“Keeping a dog is a quick, simple, and non-invasive way of testing,” he added.