Dogs can smell things very well. No, really, really good. We’ve known that for a long time. Dog noses have nearly 300 million odor receptors – nearly 60 times the number of humans.
Imagine magnifying your vision by a factor of 60 – which is probably the only way we can describe it. You can read the labels on the players ’boots from the high deck Croke Park.
A dog will detect a slight odor that may never be noticed by a human. Which is why dogs are used to smell a variety of things – from medicines to diseases to corpses buried underground.
Dogs are trained to smell diabetes and cancer types in patients. And even if they can’t replace today’s doctors, they seem to have an incredible success rate in teaching specific diseases.
Which would be ridiculous, therefore, if dogs could smell Covid-19. It is a disease that notifies its presence first by removing or destroying the mental odor. And yet, its own smell can give it away.
Dogs can smell diseases
Research into why this happens is not entirely clear. But scientists believe that the disease causes the body to release certain gases. These gases create an odor that is noticeable to dogs. If a trained dog is allowed to smell the body of a sick person, they will know if the person is sick. Even if they are asymptomatic. In previous studies for diabetes, for example, dogs were almost 100% successful if they showed a positive sample.
Of course the dog doesn’t ‘know’ that what they’re smelling about is diabetes or cancer. But they will know the smell of the disease from practice.
To begin with COVID-19, the researchers realized that dogs could be used to identify its specific odor. Because of this the canines can do what they have never done before. They can separate people with Covid-19 from people without the disease quickly, efficiently and efficiently.
One of the first studies took sweat samples from 177 possible COVID-19 patients at five different hospitals in Paris and Beirut. They then used these sweat samples to train 14 dogs, six of which were further tested in the study.
These dogs were asked to find a positive sample from a line of cones containing negative samples. The dogs underwent several tests, with successes of between 76% and 100%. Two dogs had a 100% success rate on the 68 trials they completed. These dogs have already shown that they can diagnose colon cancer.
That can be an incredible statistic. This could mean that economies and overall life could be reopened. And all because of the man’s best friend.
Dogs can be used to help open up social and business life
It is possible that these canine medicines may detect any false negative tests. During the trial, two samples collected from individuals who tested positive were consistently marked with dogs. Known hospitals were notified, and in subsequent trials these individuals were positive.
In addition, a surgeon at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Riad Sarkis, further tested the best two performers by taking them to an airport. The dogs examined 1,680 passengers and found 158 positive cases of SARS-CoV-2. These cases have been confirmed by other viral trials.
Surprisingly, Sarkis found that his dogs correctly identified negative outcomes 100% of the time, and correctly detected positive cases 92% of the time. The results, however, have not yet been published.
Now another project is being launched in Italy along the same line.
The project involves training dogs to detect the presence of coronavirus in human sweat. It started two weeks ago at the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital in Rome
If it can be proven to be reliable, it will prove to be a quicker and cheaper way to identify situations in the majority. Airports, football matches, parades – wherever people gather.
“If we had 1,000 people to screen with an antigen swab, we would take about 20 minutes for each person,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, a professor of epidemiology at the University.
“A dog, using their olfactory senses, will last 30 seconds maximum.”
Researchers in Finland, Germany, France and the UAE have launched dog trials that have outperformed more dogs from being hit by the pandemic.
Some believe that such research is not yet widely available due to the lack of peer -reviewed literature.
However, if the accuracy and speed of sniffer dogs become anything like the initial tests, dogs could be an essential tool in the management of Covid-19.
This was predicted by the Simpsons
However, all of this, like the election of Donald Trump, and the defeat of Hillary Clinton, was predicted on the TV show. The Simpsons. Nelson Muntz’s farewell greeting ‘Smell you later’ could be – literally – what we would do if we wanted to meet again.
So it’s possible that if we say goodbye to the future, we focus on the next time we meet as a time when we ‘stink’ to find out if we don’t have Covid-19 free.