Could dogs help detect COVID-19?

 

Could dogs help detect COVID-19?

 

A team of scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the charity Medical Detection Dogs, and Durham University announced that they want to explore the potential use of using dogs to detect COVID-19.

There is existing evidence that dogs are able to detect various diseases – see our article here.

“Our previous work demonstrated that dogs can detect odors from humans with a malaria infection with extremely high accuracy — above the World Health Organization [WHO] standards for a diagnostic,” says Prof. James Logan, head of the Department of Disease Control at LSHTM.

 

Dogs ‘could revolutionize’ diagnostics

The various organisations are currently crowdfunding their initiative.

Although the team acknowledge that it is unclear whether or not COVID-19 is detectable in a person’s body odour, they hypothesise that it is due to available evidence on other respiratory conditions.

“It’s early days for COVID-19 odor detection. We do not know if COVID-19 has a specific odor yet, but we know that other respiratory diseases change our body odor so there is a chance that it does,” explains Prof. Logan.

“And if it does dogs will be able to detect it. This new diagnostic tool could revolutionize our response to COVID-19.”

The proposal suggests that medical detection dogs specially trained to detect COVID-19 could assist in screening for the disease in the long run. The dogs may be able to sniff up to 250 people per hour, therefore providing a fast and non-invasive method of detection.

 

Dogs may ‘sniff out’ asymptomatic cases

Training the dogs would involve getting them to sniff odour samples from people with COVID-19 and teaching them to identify the smells associated with the disease. The dogs may also be able to immediately identify people with a fever, as they can sense small changes in skin temperature.

The team believe that, if successful, the dogs may be able to screen for COVID-19 after only 6 weeks of training.

In the long run, these dogs could be used in a variety of places, such as airports, where they may be able to detect travellers who may have contracted the virus.

“If the research is successful, we could use COVID-19 detection dogs at airports at the end of the epidemic to rapidly identify people carrying the virus. This would help prevent the re-emergence of the disease after we have brought the present epidemic under control,” suggests Prof. Steve Lindsay, from Durham University.

Commenting on the initiative, Claire Guest - co-founder and CEO of Medical Detection Dogs - says: “In principle, we’re sure that dogs could detect COVID-19. We are now looking into how we can safely catch the odour of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs.”

“The aim,” she says, “is that dogs will be able to screen anyone, including those who are asymptomatic, and tell us whether they need to be tested.”

“This would be fast, effective, and non-invasive and make sure the limited [National Health Service] testing resources are only used where they are really needed.”

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/could-dogs-help-detect-covid-19

Vitamin D deficiency could be linked to depression in adults

Vitamin D deficiency could be linked to depression in adults

A new study has found an association between vitamin D
deficiency and insufficiency and an increased risk of ...

COVID-19 - Becoming part of the solution (Part 10)

COVID-19 - How to be happy in challenging times (Part 9)

Green tea and coffee lower risk of death in people with type 2 diabetes

Green tea and coffee lower risk of death in people with type 2 diabetes

New research suggests that drinking lots of coffee and green
tea correlates with a lower risk of death from any cause ...

Can the common cold help protect you from COVID-19?

Meditation for mind-control

News

In a retrospective case study, Mayo Clinic researchers have found that antibiotics administered to children younger than 2 are associated with several ongoing illnesses or conditions, ranging from allergies to obesity.

New research from the University of South Australia shows that excess egg consumption can increase your risk of diabetes.

A team of researchers for the first time has found a correlation between the levels of bacteria and fungi in the gastrointestinal tract of children and the amount of common chemicals found in their home environment.

A new study has shown significant increases in sedentary behaviour, a reduction in physical activity levels, and an increase in anxiety and weight gain throughout the COVID-19 lockdown measures implemented earlier this year. The results were particularly significant in people with obesity.

The COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (The CMA) © 2012. No part of this site may be reproduced without the express permission of The Complementary Medical Association. If used without prior consent a charge of US $1,000 per article, or mini section is paid (US $50 per word (minimum) will be charged. This is not meant to reflect a commercial rate for the content, but as a punitive cost and to reimburse The CMA for legal fees and time costs). Use of the contents, without permission will be taken as consent to bill the illegal user in full.