Dogs have sharp noses, and scientists think they can smell COVID-19 in humans. If canines can smell those afflicted by it, that would be a game-changer.

 According to Steve Lindsay, a public health entomologist at Durham University, these canines will be a big help in detecting COVID-19. Especially in airports and other closed spaces where anyone can be positive or worse asymptomatic without knowing it, reported Time.

Dogs have a sense of smell that could be the one difference in detecting the coronavirus that has killed over 1 million. Experts think that those sick with COVID have distinct odors. All these smells are different on what part of the body is affected by the virus. A dog's olfactory senses can detect varieties of chemicals given off by the human body.

 Examples of this are that dogs are known to sniff out malaria, bad bacteria that can infect, and some types of cancer with these dogs' ability to detect with their noses these known maladies. 

This study is underway at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the U.K.-based nonprofit Medical Detection Dogs, funded by the U.K. Government to see how well a dog can detect the virus.

The study's primary concern is to produce sniffer dogs to be sent to institutions where people congregate. This will be another preventive layer to the existing nasal swab testing programs. In the United States, there is a similar program to the one in the LSHTM.

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According to James Logan of the LSHTM's Department of Disease Control, everything is ready to prove dogs can smell the virus. It will be expanded once the results are verified.

 French scientists in June used samples of COVID positive individuals; most of the samples are PCR based. One of the comments is that dogs detect the degree of the infection via armpit sweat. Dogs are not too bothered by odors that repulse humans too.

 One controlled study in Germany that got published in July had some interesting conclusions. Results show that most sniffers could detect a group called true positives at a rate of 83%. However, a group called specificity or real negative is at 93% with only seven days of training for the canines.

 One observation is rapid antigen tests to detect the virus with accuracy from 84% to almost 98%. It has specificities of 100% that is higher than a dog's nose. Tests are very invasive for many individuals but only takes 15 minutes. A dog can tell by the scent, no more sticking anything up the nose. One sniff is all a dog needs; the person will be informed in real-time.

 Lindsay added that the dogs should detect asymptomatic people who are not aware they are carriers. If scientists are right, dogs can smell COVID-19, it will benefit people a lot.

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