From next week, tests will be carried out in the Paris region with dogs to see if the latter are able to detect odor traces of coronavirus on samples.
The flair of dogs is used in the health field to detect different diseases , with remarkable efficiency . Cancers, changes in blood sugar and impending epileptic seizures are among the pathologies that our 4-legged friends, once trained, are able to detect.
What about viruses ? At Auburn University in the state of Alabama (southern United States), researchers had discovered that dogs could diagnose viral diseases in cattle . Work that inspired Dominique Grandjean , veterinarian and head of the veterinary service of the Paris firefighters . Contacted by BFMTV , the latter explained that this was an avenue to be explored in the fight against the coronavirus .
If dogs can spot scent traces of viruses in animals, perhaps they could do the same in humans . The idea had come to him several weeks ago, and the next stage will begin next week with the setting up of the first tests at the veterinary school of Alfort (94).
First of all, it will be a question of testing the behavior of the dogs vis-à-vis the elements to be sniffed. First, they will be presented with sweat samples taken at the Bégin hospital in Saint-Mandé , still in Val-de-Marne. Sweat was chosen for the simple reason that it is the only bodily fluid that does not excrete the virus responsible for Covid-19 disease.
Eventually, specially trained dogs will be required to sniff negative and positive samples , and will be rewarded when they mark those carrying the coronavirus. The objective is to develop a rapid and non-invasive diagnostic tool.
Similar work is being conducted in England by the Association Medical Detection Dogs, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Durham.
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