Can your dog sniff out Covid-19 from your 'smelly socks'? Here's what a study has found
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Dogs can soon come to the rescue of humans grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic as the sniffer dogs can now detect ‘Covid-19 odour’ from the smelly socks worn by those infected by the novel coronavirus. Scientists in Britain stated on Monday that the sniffer dogs trained using smelly socks can soon be deployed at airports or mass gathering locations to control the spread of Covid-19.
Scientists added that the ‘Covid-trained dogs’ are capable of screening the queue of several hundred people within half an hour. The accuracy of infection’s detection was reportedly marked as high as 94.3 per cent by the scientists.
This accuracy of the detection is reportedly higher than the one recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Covid-19 diagnostics. The dogs even outperformed lateral flow tests (the one used in India is Rapid Antigen Test or RAT), which have an overall sensitivity of between 58 per cent and 77 per cent.
"Dogs could be a great way to screen a large number of people quickly and prevent COVID-19 from being re-introduced into the UK," Steve Lindsay, a professor at Durham University's department of biosciences who worked on the study was quoted as saying by Reuters.
How the dogs were trained to detect Covid-19
Reports in British media suggested that sniffer dogs were vigorously trained over several weeks by introducing them to the odour of 200 clothes’ samples of those infected by Covid-19 and same number of the clothes belonging to those who tested negative for Covid-19.
Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases detected by Covid-trained dogs: Scientists
The sample size of the study reportedly had 3,500 odour samples in the form of unwashed socks or T-shirts worn by frontline healthcare workers. Out of this sample size, scientists said that Covid-trained dogs were able to sniff out the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic Covid-19 as well as the samples of a mutant variant of the infection which first emerged in the UK last year.
Posted By: Mukul Sharma