Further progress is being made that may enable the world to return to some semblance of normality as sniffer dogs trained to alert on the SARS-Cov-2 virus work at Helsinki airport.
The dogs do not make direct contact with travellers but alert on wipes that have been used to swab their neck. The dogs take about 10 seconds to work their way through the scent options and travellers who’s sample is deemed positive are invited to take a free test.
Accuracy is extremely high. A pilot study showed that dogs alerted 94% correctly when presented with 1,102 random samples. They are also able to make accurate detection in people who are asymptomatic.
Of course, it is only properly regulated follow-up that will make this a game-changer for global travel, but once again, dogs really are man’s best friend.