« It’s a first ». Dominique Grandjean, professor at the veterinary school of Maisons-Alfort, in Val-de-Marne, assures him: no one had thought of verifying if dogs could detect the coronavirus. The first tests were carried out on Thursday, and the results are considered encouraging.
Bruce, a two-year-old German shepherd, has been trained to find missing persons and detect explosives. Thursday, he bowed to a new mission: to locate a positive sample at Covid-19 among several vials placed on racks, explains Karim, dog handler, masked and gloved. These samples were obtained through collaboration with the Beaujon de Clichy hospital.
The dog passed the test with flying colors. To make him understand, his master took care to congratulate him.
« We must remain humble and careful »
« We were quite convinced by what we saw, explains Éric Gully, departmental technical advisor for Rescue and Fire Services in Seine-et-Marne, at the microphone of BFM Paris. We must remain humble and careful, nevertheless , two dogs were able to make a positive on Covid. It proves to us that the virus has a smell. That was what we had to prove, but we cannot stop at that. «
The idea of carrying out these tests came back to Professor Grandjean. « We knew that dogs were able to detect viral diseases in cattle, explains the initiator of the project. If a virus is capable of generating a specific scent on a cattle, there is no reason why it should not be not the case with humans. «
Similar tests have been planned over the course of a week and will be conducted with several dogs. Professor Grandjean, confident, expects positive results within three weeks.