HONOLULU (KHON2) — Man’s best friend has joined the fight against COVID-19.
The Queen’s Medical Center and Assistance Dogs of Hawaii (ADH) unveiled their newest project on Wednesday, May 20, that teaches dogs to sniff out COVID-19.
Sadie, Tess, Yuki and Samson have been taking part in the study.
They completed Phase 1 in March, which taught the canines how to detect the scent of COVID-19 among hundreds of other odors emitted through sweat.
Phase 2 was completed in April and consisted of a double-blinded testing phase. ADH executive director Maureen Maurer says the goal of the study is to help with screening procedures.
“The goal of the study is to show what is possible and to help to provide a practical application of this research to help screen people, even those who may be asymptomatic, at places like airports, schools and hospitals. We have been in contact with state and county officials and are hoping to share our protocol with other agencies who can scale this program.”Maureen Maurer, Assistance Dogs of Hawaii executive director
The detection dogs can be stationed in ports of entry and places of public gatherings once trained to provide non-invasive, rapid screening for COVID-19. Phase 3 is currently underway at The Queen’s Medical Center.
Tess, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, provides additional screening of patients who receive mandatory PCR tests and are coming in for surgery as part of Phase 3.
Volunteers are needed and ADH is asking those who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 on Maui or Oahu to call (808)-298-0167 for more information.