Dogs trained to detect the new coronavirus began to sniff out some passengers at Helsinki-Vanda airport in Finland this week, officials said, a pilot project used in conjunction with more conventional scans at the airport.
The efficiency of dogs has not been proven in comparative scientific studies, so passengers who offer to be tested and are suspected of carrying the virus are also instructed to do a collection test to confirm the result.
A team of 15 dogs and 10 trainers is being trained for work in Finland by volunteers sponsored by a private veterinary clinic. Among them is Kossi, a Spanish rescue dog who was trained as a sniffer dog in Finland and has already worked on cancer detection.
“What we saw in our research is that dogs encounter (the disease) five days before they (patients) have any clinical symptoms,” said Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki who specializes in clinical research on companion animals. , Reuters.
“They are very good (at that). We came close to 100% sensitivity,” she said, referring to the dogs’ ability to detect cases of the virus.
In the canine examination, a passenger wipes the neck with gauze and places it in a can, which is then delivered to another room for a dog to sniff at and offer an immediate result.
A few months ago, UAE officials adopted a similar canine examination at Dubai International Airport using police dogs.