An airport in Finland already uses dogs to detect COVID-19
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- In the United Arab Emirates they also carried out canine tests similar to those in Finland with police dogs.
- Studies have shown that canines can detect the disease five days before patients present with clinical symptoms.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland started using trained dogs to detect COVID-19 in volunteer passengers. It is a pilot program that is carried out in conjunction with the usual tests that travelers undergo.
For these tests the passengers volunteer. According to The New York Times , once a person arrives on a trip and collects their luggage, they are invited to wipe their necks with gauze to collect sweat samples, and then leave the wipes in a can that they take to another room to be evaluated by the canines.
If the dogs detect a possible positive case, the person is taken to perform the corresponding swab to confirm the diagnosis.
A dog trainer places the box next to cans containing different scents, and the animal goes to work. Photo: Depositphotos.com.
- To learn more: Scientists investigate whether dogs can detect coronavirus
A private veterinary clinic in Finland is sponsoring the training of 15 dogs and 10 trainers for work at the airport. Studies have found that canines can detect the disease five days before patients show clinical symptoms, according to Anna Hielm-Bjorkman , an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki who specializes in companion animal research who is monitoring the test. .
For months now, some international airports have introduced protocols to detect the virus that include nasal sweeps, saliva tests and temperature. However, in the United Arab Emirates they also conducted canine tests similar to those in Finland with police dogs.