Sniffer dogs could be specially trained to the sniff out people infected with coronavirus, experts say.
Detector Dogs Australia director Kris Kotsopolous told 9News.com.au it would be possible to train sniffer dogs to pick up the scent of COVID-19, but the virus would have to emanate a “huge volume of odour”.
“If an item emanates some sort of odour, the dog could be trained to make an association when they locate the odour. But it has to be the odour of that virus.
“Of course, it is possible.”
UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, which trains animals to detect diseases, are preparing to train dogs to work on the frontline where they would sniff out cases of COVID-19 within seconds.
The organisation has already trained dogs to pick up diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and bacterial infections.
The dogs searching for the virus would be trained in the same way as other sniffer dogs were trained to pick up scents.
Mr Kotsopolous said the dogs would need repetitive training in order to provide accurate detections.
“It is not hard to teach – what is hard is the amount of repetition the animal needs for it be reliable.”
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