Saturday, September 26, 2020

Can Dogs Detect Coronavirus ?

Imagine going to a friendly doctor who , without any invasive, painful, or costly tests, takes a sniff of you, tells you that yes you're sick, licks your hand and then asks you for a treat. 

Travelers arriving at Helsinki’s airport are being offered a voluntary coronavirus test that takes 10 seconds with no uncomfortable nasal swab needed. And the test is done by a dog. A couple of coronavirus-sniffing canines began work at the Finnish airport on Wednesday as part of a pilot program that aims to detect infections using the sweat collected on wipes from arriving passengers. 

Over the past months, international airports have brought in various methods to detect the virus in travelers, including saliva screenings, temperature checks and nasal swabs. But researchers in Finland say that using dogs could prove cheaper, faster and more effective. After passengers arriving from abroad have collected their luggage, they are invited to wipe their necks to collect sweat samples and leave the wipes in a box. Behind a wall, a dog trainer puts the box beside cans containing different scents, and a dog gets to work.

The dogs can detect a coronavirus-infected patient in 10 seconds,and the entire process takes a minute to complete, researchers say. If the dog signals a positive result, the passenger is directed to the airport’s health center for a free virus test.

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It is useful and humbling to realize that though we as humans see ourselves at the highest point of evolution or even as the only point of evolution there are realms of perception of which we know nothing.

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