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Sniffer dogs successfully detect virus

Wednesday May 20th, 2020

Finnish researchers have reported successful training of a dog to detect Covid-19 infection.

The UK government last week decided to back research into retraining canine cancer diagnosis specialists.

Now the Finnish specialists have reported that a dog called Kössi has successfully distinguished between urine samples.

The researchers say they have more work to do to set up proper trials and clarify exactly what the dogs are finding and how long a distinctive viral smell remains after infection.

But, they say, the dogs have proved very fast learners and may be performing better than existing molecular tests.

Professor Anu Kantele, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Helsinki, said: "There are however, many things that have to be verified and reverified before we are able to take scent detection into normal practice. We will now re-test the dogs in our randomized double-blinded setting, introducing them to a larger number of patient samples that either have a positive, or a negative Corona result.

"Some of the negative samples will be healthy, while others will have e.g. other respiratory diseases."

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses

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