Berlin  

The German army is training its sniffer dogs to detect coronavirus in humans, the Hamburg-based news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Monday.

In a joint project of the German army and the Foundation of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, sniffer dogs based at the military’s K9 Dog Training Center in the western German town of Ulmen are being trained to detect coronavirus infections in human saliva.

10 dogs — shepherds, spaniels, and retrievers – have been enrolled for the scientific study.

The basis for the corona project was that sniffer dogs can not only detect explosives or drugs from the molecular composition of an odor but also smell various types of cancer and the imminent hypoglycemia of diabetics.

German researchers involved in the study are upbeat and expect a positive outcome of the project.

“With a hit rate of around 80% at the moment, the researchers in Ulmen are well on their way to successfully continuing the project,” said the weekly quoting officials from the Dog Training Center.

The center said the reliable results will be available within the next few weeks.

At least 300 German military dogs deployed across the world, used as detecting explosives, drugs, and mines.

There is, however, a risk of dogs getting infected. In rare cases, pets can also contract the virus, as two new studies show that the virus can also be transmitted from humans to animals.

Nevertheless, dogs are being trained in other countries such as the USA, Finland, and the UK as well to detect the COVID-19.

In addition to saliva, the virus has been detected through urine and sweat as well. 

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