Combating COVID-19 with … dogs?

Many of us have been hopeful as of late that a vaccine or an effective treatment to stop the onslaught of COVID-19 will be developed. And, while we can continue to be hopeful and patient as we await this development, there is some progress developing in this context in the form of a four-legged animal a lot of us love and appreciate.

According to an article from The Good News Network, dogs have now entered the fight against the coronavirus. “A medical charity in England that has successfully trained dogs to detect malaria is now attempting to train man’s best friend to identify the smell of COVID-19,” the article says.

“The charity, called Medical Detection Dogs, is partnering with the Tropical Medicine and Hygiene School in London along with Durham University to begin trialing dogs for the job. Dr. Claire Guest, a behavioral psychologist and principal member of the charity told CTV News that there is ‘absolutely no reason why a dog can’t detect the virus,'” the article cites.

So, how exactly will dogs be implemented in helping to slow the spread of the virus?

“‘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.  This would be fast, effective and non-invasive and make sure the limited NHS testing resources are only used where they are really needed,’ writes Guest on the Medical Detection Dogs website,” the article explains.

In addition to helping sniff out the virus, dogs could be used to help identify the virus in people who are newly arriving in countries.

“Professor Steve Lindsay at Durham University says: ‘If the research is successful, we could use COVID-19 detection dogs at airports at the end of the epidemic to rapidly identify people carrying the virus. This would help prevent the re-emergence of the disease after we have brought the present epidemic under control,'” says the article.

I’d say this is some pretty great news.

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