Dogs trained to detect the coronavirus have been sent to schools in Massachusetts as part of the so-called K-9S program. According to scientists, they do this with an efficiency of 99 percent.
Hentah and Doc Labradors began their assignment Wednesday at school district facilities in Bristol, Freetown, Lakeville and Norton counties. CBS explains that dogs sit up when they smell a virus at a desk or keyboard, for example. This is a warning that the site is infected with a virus and needs to be cleaned.
“One of the good things about Covid is that it’s easy to destroy. It doesn’t like chemicals,” said Paul Douglas, Bristol County Sheriff of Police. In his opinion, it does not matter whether it is delta or omicron. He predicted that if new variants appeared, Labradors would also be able to smell them.
And the local Internet portal “Boston” indicated that other similar programs allow, for example, at airports to sniff dogs by dogs in order to detect the virus.
According to Jonathan Darling of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, the K-9S program developed with researchers from Florida International University (FIU) only covers the use of Labradors to check surfaces free of Covid-19.
“Dogs sniff around areas chosen by the school administration, such as gyms, canteens, and classrooms. (…) Where a lot of hands touch the surface, there are things that can be very contaminated,” Darling explained. He did not rule out expanding the program to include other schools.
Teachers expressed their relief at the dogs’ participation in the fight against the coronavirus.
“I see this as a great opportunity for children to see that we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of pollution. I want them not to be anxious and to feel safe in their surroundings,” said Tara Koehler, principal of the school in Fairhaven. , Bristol County.
The Covid detection program, K-9S, was developed by the FIU Forensic Research Institute. Scientists there say dogs detect coronavirus with a 99% success rate.
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