Domestic dogs will be taught to detect coronavirus in airport passengers. Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, Associate Professor of the Department of Clinical Research of Domestic Animals at the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Helsinki, told RIA Novosti about the experiment.
The experiment at Helsinki Airport began a week ago, and passengers can volunteer to participate in it. Volunteers are asked to wipe the skin with a napkin, after which they are thrown into a vessel and taken to the dog. The procedure takes just under one minute.
At the same time, personal data of passengers is not collected for the test. If the result is positive, the person is referred to the health information center for further instructions. During the procedure, the patient's characteristics are taken into account, including allergies to a dog or fear of animals.
As Hielm-Björkman said, the experiment involved not service dogs, but pets. They are “on duty” depending on their own endurance. “Dogs have been found to detect coronavirus easily, dog training is relatively quick and the results are good. However, training dogs to recognize the coronavirus is very individual, ”she said.
According to her, it takes from several hours to several months to train a dog. It is noted that dogs can detect coronavirus in humans earlier than a PCR test in a laboratory, since they require less material for research. Scientists also found that pets were able to identify coronavirus in people without symptoms a few days before all signs of infection appeared.
In August, Dubai International Airport was the first in the world to use dogs to identify passengers infected with the coronavirus.