Search Dogs May Target COVID-19

Lab Scent Detection Dogs Being Trained

Source:  UPENN Labs - AP

University of Pennsylvania Innovative Program
A team of 8 Labrador Retrievers are
being trained to sniff out people 
carrying the Coronavirus.  This 
is an experimental pilot training
program being conducted at the renowned
University of Pennsylvania School
of Veterinary Medicine and its Working
Dogs Center.  Trained scent detection
dogs have been successful in spotting
types of cancer and bacterial infections.

Search Dogs
Trained search dogs work with
the military and police departments
globally to search out explosives,
drugs and humans trapped in
collapsed buildings.  They operate
on their keen sense of smell. Scientists
have discovered that people
carrying the coronavirus emit
a unique scent.  The dogs are
being trained to detect the scent.

Potential Uses Include Airport Screenings
The Penn scientists believe the dogs
would be particularly useful for
airport screenings to spot people
carrying the virus before they get
on planes.  A similar program for
search dogs is underway in the 
UK.  If the pilot program proves
to be successful at Penn, the dogs
may begin preliminary screenings
of humans by July.  Dogs are not
believed to be at high risk for COVID-19
but the dogs at Penn will be closely
monitored.  The scientists believe 
that scent detection dogs could be
at the forefront of a breakthrough in
virus detection.

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