COVID Detection Dogs Sniffing Passengers for Virus at Dubai Airport - The Dogington Post
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COVID Detection Dogs Sniffing Passengers for Virus at Dubai Airport

It’s already been proven that specially trained dogs can be faster and more accurate at detecting coronavirus infections than nasal swabs and saliva tests. Now, in the first real-world application of their skills, virus-sniffing police dogs dogs are performing rapid COVID-19 testing on incoming passengers at Dubai International Airport.

Like most passengers traveling to international destinations across the world, those arriving in Dubai are required to be tested for COVID-19 and show proof of negative results prior to entry into the country. Now, as an added layer of security, passengers can be retested on-site, within just minutes… by a simple sniff from a specially trained K9.

Because a COVID-19 infection affects a person’s body chemistry ever-so-slightly, the dogs are trained to sniff out very unique odor changes that are undetectable by humans. Best of all, they’re able to do it with at least 92% accuracy.

The Emirates News Agency created a video to explain how it works:

As passengers arrive in Dubai, they’re directed to a special testing area where samples of body odor are taken via an armpit swab. The trained dogs then sniff a series of these jars from a separate room, alerting their handlers when they detect a COVID-19 sample. Passengers and detection dogs never come into direct contact with each other.

If a dog alerts on a passenger’s sample, that person is directed to another area of the airport for additional nasal swab testing.

While the COVID-sniffing dogs are currently being used as an additional safety measure to standard nasal swab testing, Dubai International Airport’s use of the animals provides hope that immediate, on-demand, and non-invasive testing can be done easily and accurately in a wide variety of applications.

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