Dog Sniffs Out COVID For Hospitals
A hospital in Florida is happy to have discovered that man's best friend can also be COVID's worst enemy.
Doctors Hospital in Sarasota brings in a dog trained in scent detection three days a week to sniff out undetected COVID-19 infections among visitors, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Hospital staff will ask people if they're ok with Buffy, a Labrador retriever, smelling their feet to check for a terror that can often go unnoticed. Most are happy to let the dog take a whiff, says the hospital's CEO.
It had been planned for dogs like Buffy to be trained in 2020 to detect high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The reason for this is that it would help the dogs know when they should wake up military veterans suffering from nightmares or help them to escape a situation that might eventually cause a panic attack. Like most things, this plan was changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was determined that it would be a good idea to see if the dogs could help join the frontlines in the battle against the coronavirus.
Experts trained the dogs to sniff out COVID-19 by exposing them to saliva samples taken from people who were infected. The virus would then be inactivated so that it was no longer infectious.
After there months of training, Buffy was determined to accurately detect the virus at a rate of 95 percent.
Doctors Hospital isn't the only place that has let its facilities go to the dogs. American Airlines Arena, which is the home of the NBA's Miami Heat, has been screening visitors for COVID-19 using German shepherds since February.
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