The future in the fight against COVID-19 might look a bit furry. A trial is underway in the United Kingdom to see if six specially trained dogs can sniff out the virus early before symptoms start.
“The way we are going to do that is by collecting used face masks and we’re asking people to wear these face masks for a few hours and then we carefully collect those. And the other thing we are going to do is get people to wear nylon socks. That sounds a bit strange but we know from our previous experience that this is a really good way of collecting odors from people and it’s such an easy way to do it,” said Dr. Steve Lindsay, professor of biological and biomedical sciences at Durham University.
These specific dogs are already trained to detect other diseases, like Parkinson’s and malaria.
If the training is successful, one of their first deployments is likely to be at airports where dogs are already used to sniff out drugs and other contraband.