The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine has researchers working to determine if dogs can smell COVID-19.
Penn Vet is currently training eight dogs to sniff out the virus.
“The potential impact of these dogs and their capacity to detect COVID-19 could be substantial,” said Dr. Cynthia Otto, director of Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center. “This study will harness the dog’s extraordinary ability to support the nation’s COVID-19 surveillance systems, with the goal of reducing community spread.”
The dogs will be exposed to COVID-19-positive saliva and urine samples over the next three weeks. Researchers at Penn Vet will test to see if the dogs can decipher between negative and positive lab samples.
If the study is successful, the dogs could be used to sniff out those who are asymptomatic – meaning they have Coronavirus but show no symptoms – and prevent infection spread.