This text is taken from our newsletter “Le Courrier du coronavirus” of June 6, 2022. To subscribe, click here.
Man’s best friend proves useful, even in times of pandemic. Dogs detect COVID-19 with comparable efficiency to PCR tests, according to a new peer-reviewed French study.
Well-trained dogs can detect in seconds whether someone has COVID-19 or not, much faster than a PCR test. The property was already known, man’s best friend being already used to detect certain forms of cancer.
The sweat samples of some 335 infected people were submitted to the dogs to try to detect the virus. The results are surprising, especially since people without symptoms have all been discovered. “The overall sensitivity of canine detection was 97%, reaching 100% for asymptomatic individuals,” the study states. This rate compares to or even exceeds the effectiveness of tests carried out with a swab.
Between three and six weeks are needed to train a dog to detect COVID-19, depending on the animal’s previous training, according to these researchers.
This French study, published on June 1, thus adds to several other conclusive studies going in the same direction. In real airport situations, the detection rate of sick people is 92%.
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