The police in chile has started to train dogs to identify patients COVID-19 in detecting the presence of the virus in their sweat.
The selected dogs, three golden retrievers and a labrador aged 4 to 5 years, were employed to search for drugs, explosives or missing persons, according to police.
This program is born from the collaboration of the national police of Chile, the Carabineros and specialists from the catholic University of Chile. Similar initiatives have taken place recently in France and Great Britain.
Dogs have 330 millions of olfactory sensors and a ability to detect odors 50 times better than humans.
“The virus has no smell, it is rather the infection that generates the changes in the metabolism “, which is reflected in turn by a specific variety of sweating that “can you spot the dog,” explains Fernando Mardones, a professor of veterinary epidemiology, at the AFP.
According to him, it has been proven that dogs can detect diseases such as tuberculosis, parasitic infections and even some early stages of cancer.
They may also perceive small changes of temperature of the skin, which can help determine if a person is feverish. They have little chance to be themselves contaminated, according to the world Organisation for animal health.
The dogs started their training a month ago and work from samples of sweat collected from patients hospitalized in the clinic of the catholic University.
The specialists hope that they will be operational by the month of August. They will be deployed in places of passage such as train stations, airports or clinics.
Chile has made state Tuesday in 1836 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest figure in the last two months.
In total, the country has identified 319 493 cases of infection since 3 march. More than 11 000 people have died, according to a report by the ministry of Health which also counts the case as “probable” of coronavirus.