Pest management professionals have relied on scent-detecting canines, or K9s, for years.
Last month, the British government provided approximately $605,000 U.S. in funding to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Durham University and Medical Detection Dogs to determine whether dogs could be trained to sniff out coronavirus on humans. If successful, it could lead to putting trained K9s in airport lines to help minimize the risk of the virus spreading via travelers.
If successful long-term, it’s not hard to envision a scenario where pest management firms offering disinfection and/or sanitization services acquire working K9s with this skill. After all, termite and bed bug detecting K9s are commonplace in the industry. While a working K9 is a component of a strong inspection, but not the sole component, so it would be with a public health K9 and its handler.
Currently, the focus of this project is to develop public health K9s to detect COVID-19 on people, not in structures. But it’s research worth watching, as applications could expand.
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