Covid sniffer dogs work Helsinki Airport

Posted by | Oct 29, 2020 |

Inner Wheel District 142, Finland has since 2018 been supporting trained smell detection dogs that have been successfully working with identifying different types of cancer.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki, together with Wise Nose - Finland Smell Detection Association, found this year promising indications that dogs can detect Covid-19 virus. Four trained dogs are now working on duty at Helsinki Airport as a pilot project.

Travellers arriving at Helsinki Airport are offered a voluntary coronavirus test that takes 10 second and is done by a dog. Passengers are asked to give skin wipe samples of themselves and leave the wipes in a box. The dog and the dog trainer are waiting behind a wall, where the dog sniffs each sample. Two of the four dogs are on duty at a time. The other two rest. If the dog signals a positive result, the passenger is directed to the virus test.

In the future it could be possible to use these trained dogs e.g. to identify infected people in nursing or retirement homes and to help at customs check points at airports and other border points.

Inner Wheel Finland has begun a fundraising for the corona dogs to secure their work also in the future.

Tarja Laurila