Charity says dogs ‘could sniff out’ COVID-19

The Medical Detection Dogs charity is looking into whether man’s best friend could smell coronavirus.

The charity, based in Milton Keynes, trains dogs to detect the odour of human disease and believes “in principle” they could detect COVID-19.

Working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Durham University, they said dogs could be ready after six weeks of training to “help provide a rapid, non-invasive diagnosis”.

Co-founder, Dr Claire Guest said: “We are looking into how we can safely catch the odour of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs.

“The aim is that dogs will be able to screen anyone, including those who are asymptomatic, and tell us whether they need to be tested.”

The charity said it had approached the government about the idea.

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