The University of Helsinki has revealed that dogs have been trained on a pilot basis as medical diagnostic assistants. They were tamed to identify the previously unidentified odor signature of the lethal global pandemic. The result was positive as the dogs learned about this training with surprising success. The first dogs succeeded in differentiating urine samples from positively tested patients and healthy people.
The Dog Risk group leader Anne Hielm-Bjorkman enunciates “We have solid experience in training disease-related scent detection dogs. It was fantastic to see how fast the dogs took to the new smell”. Only after a short span of time the animals, identified the urine of people infected by the new global pandemic also known as SARS-CoV-2.
For the time being the Finnish scientists are now in the process of preparing a study at random in which the dogs are supposed to sniff a great number of patient samples. It is only after that that the odor tests will be used in clinical practice.
It should be noted that research teams in the United Kingdom and France have also joined hands in training sniffer dogs to detect the coronavirus. Among the researches from the German Assistance Dog Centre, Luca Barrett has revealed “No one could tell us with certainty whether training with the aggressive virus is dangerous or not for humans and dogs. We wanted to gather more information first before we started training because the German virologists advised us against it — after all, so little is known about the virus so far.”
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So far, the substances in the urine produce have not yet been confirmed. The SARS-CoV-2 not only damages the lungs but is also harmful to blood vessels, kidneys, and other organs. It has been estimated that the patient’s urine odor changes. With their highly sensitive olfactory organs, the dogs’ notice is instant.
Luca Barrett adds, “According to one study, dogs can detect breast cancer with a 93% probability, for example. And lung cancer with a 97% probability”.