Breaking news: dog measure for the spread of the coronavirus!

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In a trial to this effect, dogs were trained to distinguish the specific scent secreted by people with coronavirus, which the human nose cannot detect.

But first of all, the dogs’ findings in the experiment had to be verified by laboratory tests, and it was necessary to understand that they were recording results. In the experiment, dogs detected 88% of coronavirus cases.

Dogs have been used for many years to search for explosives, money or drugs and to search for missing persons because their sense of smell is 100,000 times more developed than that of humans.

Recent research has shown that dogs, especially spaniel and hunting dog breeds, can distinguish the scent of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and malaria.

TRAINED IN THE USE OF PATIENT CLOTHES

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In the last experiment, 6 dogs learned by smelling the scent of people with coronavirus, the socks, face masks and t-shirts they wear. They were rewarded for recognizing this scent and knowing correctly whether the clothes presented to them came from a sick person or a healthy person.

Additionally, samples were taken from people with influenza and other respiratory illnesses to see if dogs could distinguish between regular flu and Covid.

Dogs have been successful in recognizing people with coronavirus by their scent, even though they have different variants and that person has no symptoms of illness, even though the level of the virus is very low in their system.

Claire Guest, head of dog education, said the results are “further evidence that dogs are the most reliable biosensor for detecting the scent of human disease.” The dogs found 88 out of 100 cases of Covid. But on the other hand, they also showed 16 out of 100 people who were not sick.

Therefore, if any of the 300 passengers on a plane are carriers of coronavirus, the dogs are very likely to detect that person. But there is also the risk of accidentally selecting 48 additional people who are not sick.

This can cause some patients to be indifferent and more people to be mistakenly classified as infected.

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CAN BE USED AS AN ADDITIONAL METHOD

In fact, there is a certain margin of error for laboratory tests. However, the rate of dogs choosing the non-sick person as sick is higher than tests done by taking a swab from the nose.

This is why the experimental team recommends that dogs should not be used as a sole precaution. But they believe dogs can be used for an additional screening function in addition to conventional testing.

For example, they say that after screening with dogs, 91% of cases can be detected with the swab testing method on selected people.

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But the main advantage of dogs is speed. Even though the fastest test gives results in 15 minutes, dogs can smell the disease in seconds.

The researchers say the two dogs were able to scan 300 people in half an hour. This causes the dog to use the best method of mass screening, according to Professor James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases.

Theoretically, people could be examined by dogs upon boarding or while queuing to enter an activity, and PCR tests could be more reliable for people pointed at by dogs.

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This can drastically reduce the number of people forced into quarantine, especially in the UK. Dogs can also play a role in preventing the spread of the epidemic by being used in places such as crowded train stations where there are not many testing opportunities currently.

The research is still in the early stages, so the results should be reviewed by other scientists before publication, then the second step should be done, and the experiments should be done directly on groups of people, not on clothes.

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