Professor Dominique Grandjean of the Veterinary School of Alfort-EnvA is a world expert in the use of sniffer dogs to detect diseases, and realized that trained sniffer dogs could be used to detect if people have the disease.
“I am very happy that the government has asked us to move forward,” he said. Log in.
Read more: Covid sniffer dog tests begin on the public in France
“We had 18 months of frustration after showing for the first time that dogs could be used to detect Covid, and now have a lot of work to ensure that there are enough trained dogs.
He devised a method where cotton swabs, placed under the armpits for a short time so that they had traces of sweat, could then be tested by dogs.
Dogs are now being used to detect Covid in 41 countries, but the French Ministry of Health has refused to give approval until full scientific tests and reviews have been carried out, which normally takes years.
But the government’s attitude changed after a test carried out by independent organizations that detected 97% of positive cases and only 6% of false negatives.
The results are as good as PCR tests involving swabs from the deepest part of the nostrils which take several hours to give results.
Events with more than 1,000 people, which are expected to be cleared this summer if the number of Covid cases continues to decline, are likely to be the first in France to use Covid detector dogs.
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Professor Grandjean used the underarm cushion method, as it could be used for testing by dogs away from people – who may be afraid of dogs, for example.
But now he said other methods, such as mask testing, could also be allowed, although he said it would be difficult to allow dogs to do tests by walking them along. a queue, due to fear of animals by some people.
A trained sniffer dog can be trained to respond to the scent of Covid within two or three days using a sample that can be made in a laboratory and poses no risk of disease transmission.
However, training a dog from scratch to become an effective sniffer dog takes between three and four months.
Most of the sniffer dogs trained in France are used by customs and police to detect drugs, explosives and weapons, and by search and rescue teams to search for buried accident victims, including those buried under avalanches, as well as corpses.
Professor Grandjean’s team is also working on a long-term project to gain approval for the use of sniffer dogs to detect other diseases, including some forms of cancer.