Canine COVID Detectives: Efficient Screening with Scent-Trained Dogs

Dogs adept at detecting scents can be utilized to identify children with COVID-19, providing a more cost-effective and efficient screening method during pandemics. A group of international researchers found that medical alert dogs, trained to detect the presence of the virus, can accurately screen school-aged children. By sniffing the students’ ankles and feet, the dogs demonstrated over 95% accuracy in lab settings when differentiating between positive and negative COVID-19 samples. When deployed in schools, the dogs achieved an 83% accuracy rate in identifying COVID-19 positive children and a 90% accuracy rate for COVID-19 negative children.