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The first batch of coronavirus-sniffing pooches in Thailand has been trained and is ready to assist in the detection of those infected with COVID-19.
Six Labrador retrievers have been sniffing cans filled with socks and cotton soaked with sweat from COVID-19 patients for over the past two months and are now ready to work at airports, seaports, land crossings, or tourist attractions.
“Dogs can distinguish smells 50 times more than humans,” said Kaywalee Chatdarong, a veterinary sciences professor at Chulalongkorn University. “These Labrador retrievers have long noses and a great, fast sense of smell,” she said. “They're also easy to train and friendly.”
She says that the dogs, which have a 94.8 per cent accuracy rate in identifying asymptomatic carriers, will notify their handlers that someone is infected simply by sitting.
According to Kaywelee, this is Thailand's first pack of dogs trained for medical purposes, and plans include training dogs to detect diseases including diabetes, depression, malaria, and Alzheimer's.