Specially trained Covid-19 detection dogs on duty in Milton Keynes to sniff out coronavirus

The Medical Detection Dogs will be screening visitors to charity's Christmas Fayre next weekend

By Olga Norford
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:20 am
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 9:18 am

A team of Covid-19 detection dogs will be screening people as part of a trial at the Medical Detection Dogs Christmas Fayre next Friday (26/11).

The Milton Keynes based charity has been working to train dogs to detect the odour of Covid-19. And the presence of the dogs next week will provide an extra layer of defence for visitors, some of whom are people with complex medical conditions and are still very vulnerable.

A spokesman for the charity said: "In collaboration with The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Durham University the charity has proved that dogs can detect the odour of the disease on samples with up to 94% accuracy at its Milton Keynes training room and have now moved to training dogs on people in real world settings.

Medical Detection Dogs have been specially trained to detect Coronavirus

"We’re delighted to announce that our COVID19 dogs are now training in real-life settings such as workplaces, events and conferences as a wet-nosed line of defence against the virus. The dogs indicate if they smell its odour on an individual, who will then take a PCR test so we can confirm just how super our sniffers are. It’s fast, reliable, non-invasive and will enable earlier self-isolation to prevent onward transmission.

"This follows submission of the results of the first phase of our study to investigate whether COVID-19 has a unique odour dogs can be trained to detect which proved that they can detect it with high levels of accuracy.

"Six of our elite team of trained Bio Detection Dogs were taken through to double-blind testing, with the best performing giving a sensitivity of up to 94.3% and specificity of up to 92%, meaning they can reliably identify when people do and don’t have the disease."

The dogs will 'be at work' from 4pm at the centre car park based at 3 Millfield, Greenway Business Park, Winslow Road, Great Horwood, Milton Keynes, MK17 0NP.

See Covid-19 dogs at work at the charity's Christmas Fayre next weekend (26/11)