Dogs trained to detect COVID-19 have done so with 95 percent accuracy over the past six months, the head of a training program in Thailand said this week.
“The dogs take only one to two seconds to detect the virus,” Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong, who is in charge of the project at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty, told Reuters.
Chatdarong described how six Labrador retrievers were trained to detect the coronavirus through a compound that is found in human sweat. They can “go through 60 samples” in 60 seconds, Chatdarong told the news outlet.
The dogs do not need to directly sniff people and can detect the virus even if a person is asymptomatic.
Currently, temperature checks are being used in businesses and airports to determine if someone has COVID-19.
“In the future, when we send them to airports or ports, where there is an influx of commuters, they will be much faster and more precise in detecting the virus than temperature checks,” Chatdarong said.
It is not clear when Thailand might use the dogs at airports or in public spaces.
Thailand has had over 27,000 reported cases of the coronavirus but only 88 deaths.