Thailand gets its first pack of dogs to sniff out Covid-19 patients
Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Veterinary Science has released Thailand’s first-ever pack of Covid-19 sniffing dogs, confirming that they are almost 95 per cent accurate in identifying asymptomatic patients.
“Since dogs’ sense of smell is 50 times better than humans, we decided train Labrador Retrievers as they have long snouts, a good sense of smell and are friendly,” Kaywalee Chatdarong, a professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, said.
Kaywalee said the six Covid-19 sniffer dogs were 94.8 per cent accurate in sniffing out asymptomatic patients, adding that dogs were also being used to sniff out virus carriers in Finland, Germany, France and Australia.
“In the future, we will train dogs to detect patients with other diseases, such as diabetes, depression, malaria and Alzheimer’s,” Kaywalee added.
Assoc Prof Somporn Techangamsuwan said researchers used Covid-19 patients’ sweat to train dogs, confirming that the entire process was safe.
“The project has three stages – training dogs to identify Covid-19 patients, running the tests at airports, jetties and popular tourist attractions, and developing new Covid-19 screening devices,” she said.
This project, a collaboration between the faculties of veterinary science, medicine and science, was sponsored by Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production.