Virus­sniff­ing dogs de­ployed in Fin­land

San Francisco Chronicle - - CORONAVIRU­S PANDEMIC -

Fin­land has de­ployed coro­n­avirus­sniff­ing dogs at the Nordic coun­try’s main in­ter­na­tional air­port in a four­month trial of an al­ter­na­tive test­ing method that could be­come a cost­friendly and quick way to iden­tify in­fected trav­el­ers.

Four dogs of dif­fer­ent breeds trained by Fin­land’s Smell De­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion started work­ing Wed­nes­day at the Helsinki Air­port as part of the gov­ern­ment­fi­nanced trial.

It takes the dog a mere 10 sec­onds to sniff the virus sam­ples be­fore it gives the test re­sult by scratch­ing a paw, lay­ing down, bark­ing or oth­er­wise mak­ing its con­clu­sion known. The process should be com­pleted within one minute.

While re­searchers in sev­eral coun­tries, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, France, Ger­many the United States, are also study­ing ca­nines as coro­n­avirus de­tec­tors, the Fin­nish trial is among the largest so far.

Antti Aimo-koivisto / Le­htikuva/afp via Getty Im­ages

The coro­n­avirus snif­fer dogs sit near their train­ers at the Helsinki air­port in Van­taa, Fin­land.

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