Dog company asks for £1million donation to help train dogs to ‘smell Coronavirus’

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A dog training company, Medical Detection Dogs, which does pioneering work in cancer research and diabetes detection has opened a fundraising page to ask for £1million so it can train dogs to learn the smell of Covid-19, thereby reducing the number of people who have to use test kits.

According to Medical Detection, Dogs could learn the smell of coronavirus within six weeks to provide a rapid, non-invasive diagnosis and save Health Ministries from spending a lot in buying and producing test kits.

The charity said in a statement: ‘Dogs are one of the world’s greatest biosensors, capable of detecting odours associated with drugs, explosives and food and are now being used in practice for public health.

‘In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, there is a chance that we could use dogs as a rapid diagnostic screen to detect infected individuals and we need your help to get this project off the ground.

Dr Claire Guest, CEO and Co-Founder of Medical Detection Dogs, said to Metro UK:

‘In principle, we’re sure that dogs could detect Covid-19. We are now 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. This would be fast, effective and non-invasive and make sure the limited NHS testing resources are only used where they are really needed.’