Schools In Massachusetts In The US Are Using Dogs To Detect Covid-19

Schools In Massachusetts In The US Are Using Dogs To Detect Covid-19

New Delhi: Huntah and Duke are not just any normal dogs. The two K9 dogs have been specially trained to sniff students in order to detect possible cases of Covid-19 in a Massachusetts school district.

A recent tweet from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the dogs have been roped in to fight the threat of the pandemic.

The Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District was the first to welcome the K9s to campus after reading a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The dogs visit the school weekly and sniff around to look for the presence of the virus in empty classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias and gymnasiums.

If coronavirus is detected, the authorities informs the health nurse, who then relays the information to the people affected.

Fairhaven and Norton school districts have also invited the K9s to their campuses.

According to a CNN report, the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office has worked closely with Florida International University (FIU) to train these dogs and teach them how to detect the virus.

The metabolic changes that are caused by Covid-19 produce a specific odour, according to FIU research. This allows dogs like Huntah and Duke to help in the detection of the virus.

Their training was similar to that of narcotic dogs. Their trainers killed the virus in the mask worn by a Covid positive person with the help of UV light and cut it into small pieces. It was then placed in a plastic bag for the dogs to become acquainted with the scent.

This exercise has turned out to be promising as another study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine revealed that after six to eight weeks of training, dogs become capable of detecting Covid.

Six dogs were able to accurately identify coronavirus 82-94% of the time, the preprint study revealed.

However, it is yet not fully confirmed if dogs can prove to be beneficial in the fight against Covid as per a recent experiment.

“This could be compromised by the density of individuals in crowded spaces and whether well-ventilated external spaces, where odours are rapidly dispersed, compromise the ability of the dogs to detect individuals with low levels of infection,” Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom, said, as per a CNN report.

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