Labrador Retrievers to now detect Covid-19 infection in Thailand


So far, these canine testers are being sent to communities that can become new Covid-19 hotspots. (Representative image)

In a bid to quickly identify new Covid-19 cases, Thailand has started deploying a virus-detecting squad. What’s interesting is that this squad is made of Labrador Retrievers. These dogs have been trained to sniff out a unique odor that is produced in the sweat of Covid-19 positive people. The training has been given by the researchers at the veterinary faculty of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, a report by Associated Press noted.

The idea to train dogs is to quickly identify people having Covid-19 infection amidst the surging cases in the country. Many clusters have been identified in Thailand at construction sites, large markets, and crowded slum communities. A team of six Labrador Retrievers has been trained so far.


The report highlighted that three of six dogs have tested more than 1,000 samples from students and college staff along with people around the university since May 10. After sniffing some samples of sweat placed in metal containers, the dogs are now able to sniff the sweat of Covid-19 positive people. The report said the results have been impressive. Dogs simply walk away if they do not find any traces of the viral infection. However, if the person is positive, the god will stop and sit in front of the person.

Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong, head of the research team said that many countries like Finland, Germany, the United Arab Emirates have been using dogs to detect Coronavirus infection, however, she was not sure if the same could work in Thailand. This is because the country’s cuisine is spicy and flavorful.

According to Suwanna Thanaboonsombat, a volunteer who collects samples, the canine testers have become a big element of convenience because they look for people who cannot go out to be tested. So far, these canine testers are being sent to communities that can become new Covid-19 hotspots.


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