Durham research into COVID-19 detection dogs gets government funding

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A Durham University-backed research project to find out whether trained dogs could be used to rapidly detect COVID-19 has received £500,000 in funding from the Government.

The project is a collaboration between world-leading experts on disease control from Durham University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and the Medical Detection Dogs charity, established in 2008 to research and train bio-detection dogs.

The research aims to establish whether bio-detection dogs can be used as a non-invasive and early warning measure to detect coronavirus in people, even if they are asymptomatic.

In order to prove that dogs can be highly accurate in detecting COVID-19, research must progress through several stages and trials, the first of which will involve NHS staff collecting odour samples from patients in London hospitals, some of whom are infected with coronavirus, some of whom are not.

Six bio-detection dogs will then be intensively trained within six to eight weeks using the samples.

Six bio-detection dogs will be trained within six to eight weeks

Although the project had already received financial backing from public donations, the government’s £500,000 funding means trials can now officially begin.

In a statement, Lord Bethell, Minister for Innovation, said: “Bio-detection dogs already detect specific cancers and we believe this innovation might provide speedy results as part of our wider testing strategy.

“Accuracy is essential so this trial will tell us whether ‘COVID dogs’ can reliably detect the virus and stop it spreading.”

Whereas a human nose contains around 5 million smell receptors, a dog’s nose contains over 300 million.

Due to this particularly acute sense of smell, dogs are already commonly used for detection purposes at airports (picking up odours associated with drugs and explosives) and in medicine to detect various cancers, Parkinson’s, and malaria.

The dogs could each screen up to 250 people for COVID-19 every hour

Over ten years of research by the charity has shown that dogs can trained to detect the odour of human disease at the equivalent dilution of one teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic-sized swimming pools of water – approximately 5 million litres.

It is estimated that, if deployed, the dogs could each screen up to 250 people for COVID-19 every hour. To avoid exhausting them, the dogs would be worked in pairs for 20-minute stints.

The Medical Detection Dogs charity has revealed which six dogs will be trained to detect COVID-19 – a mixture of Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, and Labradoodles named Norman (aged 2), Digby (20 months), Storm (3), Star (2), Jasper (1), and Asher (5).

In a short profile for each of the six dogs, the charity writes that Jasper, a Cocker Spaniel and the youngest of the dogs, “loves walks and adventures followed by a cuddle”, and enjoys eating carrots.

I have every faith that these brilliant dogs will achieve remarkable results

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of Medical Detection Dogs

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall said: “Having been the proud Patron of Medical Detection Dogs for six years, I have every faith that these brilliant dogs will achieve remarkable results in the fight against COVID-19”.

Should the dogs prove highly effective in detecting coronavirus, the charity estimates that practical testing should begin within three months, with deployment possible in under six months. The dogs could be used in public places such as airports and sporting events, in order to help prevent a second wave of the disease.

Allaying concerns on social media that the dogs may become infected with coronavirus, the charity tweeted (23rd April) that the dogs “have an allocated vet ensuring welfare is maintained. Evidence shows dogs are not susceptible [to COVID-19]”.

Dr Claire Guest, co-founder and CEO of Medical Detection Dogs, said: “We are delighted that the government has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that dogs can play a role in the fight against COVID-19.

“We are sure our dogs will be able to find the odour of COVID-19. […] We are incredibly proud that a dog’s nose could once again save many lives.”

Image: Medical Detection Dogs via Twitter

One thought on “Durham research into COVID-19 detection dogs gets government funding

  • The Chaiwala Tea Seller PM of India has found the solution to COVID.The man was born to doom Hindoosthan and the Hindoos and world.dindooohindoo

    His solution is to switch off the lights for 9 minutes at 9 pm and light candles,torches and cell phone lights – the sign of impending and inevitable doom.

    business-standard.com/ article/ current-affairs/coronavirus-on-pm-modi-s-exhortation-india-to-light-lamps-at-9-pm-today-120040500319_1.html

    His aim is to plunge the Indians into the darkness of the shit hole – in which they are already resident.The Darkness of death in a morgue or a grave – as a premonition of a cold and miserable death

    The Indian PM’s mother was and is a dishwasher.

    1 week earlier he asked Indians to beat utensils in public on the roads – as an ode to his mother.

    theprint.in/india/after-bartan-bajao-pm-modi-asks-indians-to-light-lamps-candles-as-symbols-of-hope/394181/

    Another Indian Genius is using Cow Piss on a large scale,to cure COVID

    deccanherald.com/national/national-politics/cow-urine-for-covid-19-becomes-bone-of-contention-in-west-bengal-bjp-815839.html

    When Babar was at the doors of Hindoosthan – Hindoos were praying to idols of Shiva and sacrifcing goats,bulls and temple prostitutes. Rest is History

    I really worry about the US and EU health systems (with the Indians working in it)

    1300 years ago, a man called Beruni made a prophetic statement on the worth of the Indian race

    The words of Beruni are prophetic,in this regard.

    – The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs.
    – They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid.
    – They are by nature niggardly in Communicating that which they know, and they take the greatest possible care to withhold it from men of another caste among their own people,still much more, of course, from any foreigner

    Chaiwala (The Indian PM) though he was special,along with his countrymen -aka, from the Lost Tribe of Israel.Those fantas-ical land – statistical contortions by the Indians, that the numbers were doubling at the lowest rate in Hindoo-land – lapped up by the lackeys in the Hindoo Media – made them feel mighty special – just like the sons of Rama.

    Reply

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