Cobra, a female Belgian Malinois, and One Betta, a Dutch shepherd, are 7-year-old dogs trained to detect the presence of the coronavirus. The keen-nosed canines are part of a pilot program at Miami International, one of the nation’s busiest airports — and the first to employ dogs in thebattle against the coronavirus.
Cobra and One Betta will spend their shifts sniffing the face coverings of employees passing through a checkpoint to detect the presence of the virus in sweat, breath and scents due to metabolic changes that the virus causes in the human body. If a dog signals the odor of the virus on a person, that individual will be asked to take a rapid coronavirus test, the airport said.
The canines’ accuracy rivals traditional coronavirus tests and even some lab equipment, Furton said. He cited a double-blind study published by FIU, which found the animals achieved 96 to 99 percent accuracy rates for detecting the virus.