A trained sniffer dog at the University of Helsinki's Viikki Campus (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI have begun trials exploring the use of trained sniffer dogs to detect instances of coronavirus infection in the general population. It is hoped that the method will prove more effective than current testing tools.

The University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has joined forces with the Faculty of Medicine to measure how effectively trained dogs are able to distinguish urine samples from infected people from those who do not have the virus.

Similar trials have already begun in the UK, USA, and Hong Kong, among others. Early results have suggested that dogs are able to quickly and effectively detect the presence of COVID-19.

Given mounting evidence that existing tests are far from 100% effective, health authorities around the world are looking to alternative testing methods.

In a press release, UH's Associate Professor of Animal Clinical Research Anne Hielm-Björkman said that preliminary tests have been promising, with the dogs demonstrating an ability to detect COVID-19 infections in patients who have not shown any symptoms. 



Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva