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Will COVID-Sniffing Dogs End the Days of PCR Testing?

Dogs trained to smell coronavirus infection do a better job than other tests.

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Trained dogs may be the next big thing in COVID testing. The tests being used now, called PCR or “polymerase chain reaction” tests, aren’t very accurate. Well-trained dogs have a much better track record.

Natural Gifts

Humans have about five million scent receptors. Dogs have around 300 million of them, giving them a big advantage when it comes to smelling. Dogs can be used to find criminals. Using a piece of clothing worn by a missing person can help a dog locate people gone missing or abducted. Dogs have also been taught to detect illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and malaria. And now – for the first time – dogs are being trained to detect coronavirus in human beings.

Pooches Over PCR

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in January 2021 that the results from PCR tests were too unreliable in 2020. The WHO is now moving to COVID-sniffing dogs.

Training dogs to detect COVID can be a lot cheaper than PCR testing, and dogs can be ready to work in just a few short weeks.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that trained dogs can detect the virus in almost every case.

Already, places like the NBA, the Beirut airport, and building companies in London are using the clever canines to lower the costs and improve COVID testing.

Thanks to man’s best friend, we may now have a more reliable way to test for the virus.

Pennel bird is a writer, educator, musician, husband, and father who currently lives in Glendale, CA. He is a Political Contributor for He likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

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