Friday, September 25, 2020

Dogs used to detect coronavirus in pilot project at Helsinki airport

Coronavirus sniffing dogs named Miika and Titta are introduced at the Evidensia veterinary clinic in Vantaa, Finland September 2, 2020. The dogs are trained to detect SARS-CoV-2 from arriving passengers at the Helsinki-Vantaa international airport. Lehtikuva/Antti Aimo-Koivisto via REUTERS

By Anne Kauranen

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Dogs trained to detect the novel coronavirus began sniffing passenger samples at Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa airport this week, authorities said, in a pilot project running alongside more usual testing at the airport.

The dogs’ efficiency has not been proven in comparative scientific studies so passengers who volunteer to be tested and are suspected as carrying the virus are instructed to also take a swab to confirm the result.

A team of 15 dogs and 10 instructors are being trained for the job in Finland by volunteers, sponsored by a private veterinary clinic. Among them is Kossi, a rescue dog from Spain, who was trained as a sniffer dog in Finland and who has worked before detecting cancers.  Read more >>