Dogs Deployed at Helsinki Airport Can Detect COVID-19 With Almost 100% Accuracy
[ScienceAlert] Passengers alighting at Helsinki Airport in Finland starting from earlier this week will have a speedier - and much fuzzier - way of getting tested for COVID-19.

A team of dogs has been deployed to fill their snoots with eau d'arriving passenger to sniff out those infected with the virus behind the current global pandemic.

If successful, the pilot scheme could help provide a more efficient method of detection that could be used in a range of scenarios.

"We are among the pioneers," said airport director Ulla Lettijeff of aviation company Finavia.

"As far as we know no other airport has attempted to use canine scent detection on such a large scale against COVID-19. We are pleased with the city of Vantaa's initiative. This might be an additional step forward on the way to beating COVID-19."

For people with allergies, or fear of dogs, there's no reason to worry. The passengers will have no direct contact with the canine COVID-19 detectives.

The test is performed from a wipe that is swiped on the passenger's skin, and placed in a cup. In a separate booth, the dog will sniff the sample. If the dog detects COVID-19, they will make a physical sign.

Why the dogs can detect the virus is not entirely clear. However, a recent French study found that dogs trained to smell the difference between armpit sweat from healthy people and those with COVID-19 could do so with 95 percent certainty.

Posted by: Besoeker 2020-09-27