Dogs’ ability to detect disease through their sense of smell alone is well-documented, so it’s no surprise that as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, several trials began across the world to find out if dogs can also reliably detect Covid infection.
“Many diseases change our body odour,” UK charity Medical Detection Dogs said in a statement as they launched their own trial. “This has been shown many times in scientifically robust experiments. Recent research on flu viruses, and other respiratory diseases, has shown that these diseases also interact with the human immune system and change human body odour.
“There is a very good chance that COVID-19 has a distinctive body odour. Based on our previous work, we believe that dogs will be able to detect it with great accuracy.”
“These results scientifically confirm dogs’ ability to detect the signature smell of Covid-19”
A study conducted at France’s National Veterinary School of Alfort now shows that canines involved in the trial showed a 97 per cent accuracy rate in detecting the disease.
“These results scientifically confirm dogs’ ability to detect the signature smell of Covid-19,” a statement by the Veterinary School reads.
The result has been hailed as “very promising”, proving that dogs may be a great asset for the global effort to contain the pandemic.