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Trained dogs deployed in US schools to sniff out Covid

While several studies have shown that dogs can detect Covid-19, the FDA is yet to approve this diagnostic process.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 19, 2022 1:39:33 pm
Dogs sniff out covid in US schools, Dogs can sniff covid, Covid-19 detection dogs, Indian ExpressMany people are wondering if dogs can become carriers of the coronavirus or sniffing the virus can infect the canines. (Source: BBC/Instagram)

Five schools in US’ Massachusetts have employed trained dogs to sniff out coronavirus disease (Covid-19) among students and staff in schools. Two sniffer dogs, Huntah and Duke, were trained by the Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute to detect smells associated with Covid-19 infection, the BBC has reported.

The dogs walk around the classrooms, cafeteria, corridors and other school premises and if they sniff someone with Covid-19 they stop and put their paws at the area where they detected the virus’s presence. Once the pupils and staff are identified, they are sent for testing.

The schools are following a strict seating plan and have embedded desks and chairs with barcodes that a student needs to scan before sitting on them. This helps them in determining who used the desks.

People have reacted differently to this new development. Many people are wondering if dogs can become carriers of the coronavirus or sniffing the virus can infect the canines. Some people also highlighted the possible traumatic effect that this exercise might have on children.

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Several studies have shown that dogs are accurate in detecting Covid-19. According to a Forbes report, a double-blind study conducted by Florida International University with four dogs shows 97.5 per cent accuracy in spotting Covid-19 by sniffing surfaces and people.

These results were echoed by another study done by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which found that dogs have an 82 per cent to 94 per cent success rate in detecting Covid-19. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to approve dogs as diagnostic tools when it comes to testing Covid-19.

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