Sniffer dogs are successfully being trained to sniff out Covid-19 on humans and according to a leading security firm their use could become mainstream in London by Easter 2021.
Security dogs are well known for their super sniffing abilities – money, drugs, explosives. However, recent trials have been successful in using canines to sniff out Covid-19 leading to enquiries for commercial use in shops, transport hubs and public spaces in London.
“These dogs are simply amazing – they can smell the odour of Covid! Training is currently taking place to enable them to actually sniff out those carrying Covid-19 in busy areas, that’s some skill!”, explains Lilly Moss from London security guard company Guards.co.uk.
The sniffer dogs have been trained by the charity Medical Detection Dogs and have been on trial at London Paddington train station this week. It is hoped if the trials are successful, the dogs will be able to work for real in early 2021.
Early detection of the symptoms of Covid-19 is key to isolating those with the virus. It is thought that if the sniffer dogs could track those in busy public spaces and help to quarantine anyone with traces of the virus.
“The Covid-19 sniffer dogs take less than 1 second to sniff out the virus, and have been successful in detecting the virus even when no symptoms have been showing”, adds Lilly Moss from Guards.co.uk.
Even Health Secretary, Matt Hancock thought the idea was great, when he met the dogs at London Paddington on Tuesday: “You can immediately think of the number of uses that we could put this to – and find people who don’t know they have Covid.”
If enough dogs could be trained up, the thinking is that Covid-19 sniffer dogs could become a regular sight in train stations, shopping centres and public spaces.
“We have already had enquiries from some large shopping centre clients about how we could integrate sniffer dogs into the regular patrols – they are jumping on every resource they can to keep open and trading”, says Lilly Moss from Guards.co.uk.
Anyone wanting to help these special dogs and who has tested positive for coronavirus can apply for a pack containing a t-shirt, mask and socks which are used to train the dogs here: www.virusdogs.com