NBA is Using Coronavirus-Sniffing Dogs to Screen Fans at Games

Dogs are amazing pets that provide us with companionship and unconditional love, but they’re also among the most skilled creatures on the planet. Dogs are capable of doing so much more than most of us realize. We’ve domesticated them and turned them into some of the best possible house pets, but dogs can do a lot more to help us. Some give of their time to serve as therapy dogs to help kids and adults overcome trauma, while others sniff out drugs for police and DEA units. We recently learned that dogs are also being used to screen for Covid-19

NBA is Using Coronavirus-sniffing dogs to screen fans

ESPN reported that the Miami Heat is using dogs to sniff out coronavirus on spectators. Although fans are only allowed back in the stands in limited numbers, everyone who enters the stadium must pass the screening for coronavirus. This is a plan that has been under development for several months. The Miami Heat plans to use dogs that have been highly trained to sniff out covid-19 for the task. While this is good news for the few friends, family members of players, and others who will be allowed to attend the games it also shows us how capable dogs can be.

Dogs trained to detect covid-19

Dogs have now been successfully trained to detect the covid-19 virus in humans. According to BMC Infectious Diseases, the virus produces organic compounds in its host that creates certain scent imprints. Specially trained detection dogs undergo a week of training to detect the scent in controlled studies. The results of the studies show that the trained dogs can detect the scent that the virus leaves behind with an accuracy of more than 96 percent. This gives us hope for implementing the use of dogs as a way to detect the virus in larger crowds more easily. Individuals that are identified by the dogs can be removed from the rest of the group and tested with scientific medical methods to determine if they are in fact carrying the virus. Not everyone shows symptoms when they are infected with the virus, but they are still able to transmit the disease to those around them. While the studies to confirm the results of this initial study are ongoing, the Miami Heat is taking the early evidence and going with it.

Dogs can detect scents that humans cannot. Their sense of smell is so much more acute than they have the ability to detect many other types of health problems. Dogs can also help predict when a person is going to have a seizure, and some have been known to detect cancer. The subtle scents that the byproducts of illness give off are things that dogs can detect with their noses. There are so many things that dogs do well. They’re much more than human companions, they actually help in saving lives.

Other amazing feats dogs perform

According to Pets 4 Luv, dogs have been used to work alongside people for hundreds of years. In modern times, we’re just beginning to understand how canines fit into the helping professions. Dogs can have jobs that people earn money for. We employ them in a variety of different jobs. Hunters use them as guides to sniff out the prey. They flush, point, track, and even retrieve them for us. This has been their job for centuries.

Psychiatric and medical services

Emotional support dogs stay by our sides and help us recover from trauma, loneliness, or mental illness. Dogs have been trained to comfort psychiatric patients and to provide comfort for those having surgeries. They help to alleviate our stress and bring us joy. Dogs also help us with mobility issues, guide the blind and those who are hearing impaired. Some even provide us with alerts if a seizure is pending. Most recently, their exceptional sense of smell helps to detect the presence of illness.

Search and rescue

Dogs can also be trained to conduct search and rescue missions. They can detect the scent of people who are lost or missing in the wilderness. A dog can get through terrain that is impossible for humans when searching for victims. They possess the ability to detect the scent of a human who has passed by. They follow the smell and lead the way to those who are lost.

Dogs in law enforcement

Dogs have also been trained to sniff out a variety of illegal substances. They use their finely tuned noses to sniff out drugs, explosives, or even cadavers if police suspect that a person has been killed. Dogs are also used to protect property. Guard dogs have the essential task of patrolling the grounds of a home or business, then sounding the alert if an intruder tries to break-in. It doesn’t really matter what you need to identify if a dog is trained to detect a specific scent he will be a helpful co-worker. K-Nine units employ highly trained dogs to serve as partners for police officers. They become bonafide members of the police force, bound to serve and protect.

Final thoughts

We’ve just covered a few of the incredible feats that dogs are capable of. Dogs have been serving mankind for centuries in one way or another. Now they’re alerting us to the possibility of exposure to a deadly disease. They can warn us of unseen dangers we’re not aware of. They have the potential for letting us know when a person may carry the dreaded covid-19 virus. Although disease detection studies have been in progress for years, this is a new job that dogs became eligible to perform. This has implications for more effective screening methods than the previous use of temperature detection. Some people who carry the coronavirus do not have a fever or any other symptoms of the illness. Regardless they do all give off a subtle scent that a well-trained dog can detect.

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