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WATCH: This Good Dog Can Detect COVID-19 With 99% Accuracy

Who’s a good dog? Cobra is. She’s been working at Miami National Airport, where she and her colleagues may be able to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 08: Cobra, a Belgian Malinois, waits for a command from Denise Webb before sniffing masks for the scent of COVID-19 at Miami International Airport on September 08, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Miami International Airport COVID-19 detection canines will be used to screen employees at their entry checkpoints in a 30 day pilot study. The dogs trained at Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute, have a detector accuracy rate from 96 to 99 percent in published peer-reviewed, double-blind trials. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Almost as soon as the pandemic became public knowledge, researchers began work to determine if dogs could sniff out the virus. Sure enough, now Cobra and others are starting work at the airport in Miami, where they’re currently being used to check staff. When one of the dogs alerts that they’ve detected COVID-19, the staff member takes a rapid test — and the dogs are getting it right more than 99% of the time.

Watch this CNN clip introducing Cobra and her work.

The Washington Post reports that dogs have long been used to sniff out conditions from Parkinson’s to cancer, and to detect changed in blood sugar in diabetics.

In fact, Cobra’s previous job was also in disease detection — although not in humans.

She was trained to detect the scent of laurel wilt, a disease that kills avocado trees, and rapid ohia death, a fungal disease devastating a native tree considered sacred in Hawaii…

The Miami Herald reports that the test consists of removing a face mask and dangling it for the dog to sniff, and the dog will signal by sitting if the smell indicates the virus is present.

If the trial run of using COVID-19-sniffers for airline employees goes well, then Cobra and crew can expect to move to a busy section of the airport in a few weeks, where travelers will be allowed to opt-out of these new disease-detecting dog-scans if they prefer.

Despite the freedom to opt-out, planners hope that simply having the dogs present will deter some travelers from lying about their COVID-19 status.



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