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Dogs are BETTER at detecting Covid than rapid antigen testing

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Dogs are BETTER at detecting Covid than rapid antigen testing and possibly PCRs and can be used to screen festival-goers in seconds

  • New University of Adelaide Study Shows Dogs Can Diagnose Covid
  • The dogs need eight weeks to train and can test 200 people per hour for Covid
  • They use a two minute sweat sample but are trained to smell instantly
  • Senior lecturer Dr Anne-Lise said the dogs are more reliable than RAT tests
  • She advised the trained dogs to use locations as a ‘pre-screening tool’

Dogs are so sensitive to the smell of Covid that they are more reliable than rapid antigen and sometimes even PCR tests, a study shows.

Associate Professor Anne-Lise said dogs can be trained to detect Covid in as little as eight weeks, yielding reliable results with a two-minute sweat sample.

Dr Anne-Lise said the dogs were “extremely accurate” and more reliable than a rapid antigen test.

A new study from the University of Adelaide has found that trained dogs are more effective at testing Covid than RAT testing

She added that the dogs were also sometimes able to detect Covid earlier than a rapid test.

Trials at Adelaide airport had passengers take a sweat sample with a cotton swab under their armpit and wait two minutes for a result.

dr. However, Anne-Lise was convinced that the time will be shortened even more with new trials where the dogs diagnose with just a passing scent from a subject.

‘We have stopped collecting sweat samples because it is too time-consuming. So now we have the dogs that detect people directly,” she said.

“They just come close to you, sniff you and sit and stare if you’re positive.”

Ms Anne-Lise recommended using the trained dogs as a 'pre-screening tool' alongside RAT or PCR testing for major events or high risk venues

Ms Anne-Lise recommended using the trained dogs as a ‘pre-screening tool’ alongside RAT or PCR testing for major events or high risk venues

Dr Anne-Lise believes the trained puppies provide a time- and cost-effective testing method that allows people to get a reliable diagnosis in just a fraction of the time of a rapid antigen test.

“It only takes eight weeks to train a dog and a dog can detect more than 200 people in an hour, so it’s a very good tool to screen a lot of people in a very short time,” she said.

However, Dr Anne-Lise said the dogs should be viewed as a complementary diagnostic tool rather than a complete replacement for pre-existing Covid testing.

She recommended using the trained dogs as a “pre-screening tool” alongside rapid antigen or PCR testing for large events or high-risk venues.

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