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An airport in Finland is already using dogs to detect COVID-19

The canines are part of a pilot program that is carried out on a voluntary basis with passengers.

2 min read


  • In the United Arab Emirates, they conducted dog tests similar to those in Finland with police dogs.
  • Studies have shown that canines can detect the disease five days before patients with clinical symptoms.
An airport in Finland is already using dogs to detect COVID-19
An airport in Finland is already using dogs to detect COVID-19

Airport Helsinki-Vantaa in the Finland started using trained dogs to detect COVID-19 in volunteer passengers. It is a pilot program that is run in conjunction with the usual tests travelers go through.

Passengers volunteer for these tests. In accordance with The New York TimesOnce a person arrives from a trip and collects their luggage, they are asked to wipe their neck with gauze to collect sweat samples. They later leave the wipes in a can that is taken to another room to be evaluated by the dogs.

If the dogs detect a possible positive case, the person will be asked to do the appropriate swab to confirm the diagnosis.

A dog teacher puts the box next to cans with different scents and the animal goes to work. Photo: Depositphotos.com.

A private veterinary clinic in Finland is promoting the training of 15 dogs and 10 trainers for work at the airport. Studies have shown that canines can detect the disease five days before clinical symptoms appear Anna Hielm-Björkman, an associate professor at the University of Helsinki who specializes in research on domestic animals and oversees the experiment.

Some international airports have been putting in place protocols for the detection of the virus for months, which include nasal washes, saliva tests, and temperature. However, in the United Arab Emirates they also ran dog tests similar to those in Finland with police dogs.

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