Could “COVID Dogs” Help Us Return to Normal? The Miami Heat Thinks So
The Covid dogs will now begin to screen fans who want to attend Miami Heat games. Due to the pandemic, many sporting events have been suspended. Some events have been canceled and postponed, and the stadiums have been empty. While fans have been allowed at certain events, it all depends on the guidelines imposed by each state.
However, with the help of covid dogs, the Miami Heat hope that soon we can return to everyday life. Around 2,000 fans will be able to attend each match if the dogs give them the green light. This would keep the capacity at about 10% to ensure safety and compliance with virus guidelines. ESPN reported that a German study determined that the success rate of dogs is approximately 94%.
While this is not perfect, Heat personnel will continue to apply known safety measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing. They will also conduct temperature checks, distribute seating patterns, prohibit cash transactions, and limit food and beverage sales. The staff say that if people have allergies or phobias of dogs, fans can do a rapid antigen test. The test produces results in about 45 minutes.
Additionally, the staff will have fans complete a health screening questionnaire before entering the arena. If an attendee begins to feel unwell during a game, there will be isolation rooms available. However, dogs will be the most important line of defense to keep the virus out of games.
Matthew Jafarian, Heat’s executive vice president of business strategy, said ESPN,
“If you think about it, detector dogs are not new. You have seen them in airports, the police and the military have used them in mission critical situations. We have used them in the sand for years to detect explosives. “
Dogs have an uncanny ability to detect everything from bombs to diseases like cancer, diabetes and even depression. Therefore, it is not surprising that they can also be trained to detect viruses.
The Miami Heat staff have been working to get fans back to the American Airlines stadium for months. Dogs have been sniffing out the virus in some games this season so far. However, until recently, only friends and family had been allowed to attend. The first game that fans could attend was held last Thursday against the LA Clippers. Season ticket holders were able to begin securing their seats that Monday.
How covid dogs sniff out the virus
Before games, fans will pass through a designated screening area upon arrival. the covid dogs it will then walk past each fan to detect the virus. If the dog keeps moving, that means the fan is clear to enter. However, if the dog sits down, it has detected the virus and will be denied entry to the ventilator.
When the pandemic began to spread around the world, experts began looking for dogs for their keen sense of smell. Many covid dogs have been used to help stop the transmission of the virus. Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors and humans only have about 6 million. This means that dogs can detect odors that we do not detect.
Due to their innate odor receptors, researchers around the world have begun training dogs to help fight the virus. A group of researchers in Paris, France, shared his work in covid dogs last June. For the research, the team trained eight dogs to detect the virus in 198 sweat samples. Half came from people with the virus.
When the researchers mixed the positive and negative samples, dogs identified the virus 83% to 100% of the time.
Another study published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases analyzed the dogs’ success rate in detecting the virus in saliva or tracheobronchial secretions. The research team was led by veterinary neurologist Holger Volk from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Germany. The researchers had eight covid dogs sniff saliva and tracheobronchial samples from seven people with covid, plus seven uninfected people. The results showed that the dogs detected 83% of the positive cases and 96% of the negative ones.
In yet another study in July 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) found their covid dog tests to be successful. Researchers presented police sniffer dogs with sweat samples from COVID-19 patients and uninfected volunteers. Dogs detected the coronavirus with 92% accuracy, as reported The National. The airports of Dubai and Helsinki, Finland have also started using covid dogs to detect the virus at airports.
Finally, a British medical charity called Medical Detection Dogs has trained dogs to sniff out the virus. The charity successfully trained the dogs to smell malaria, so they wanted to test their ability to detect covid. The charity partnered with the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Durham University to begin training dogs. Dr. Claire Guest, the behavioral psychologist behind the charity, said CTV News who fully believes in the ability of canines to detect the virus.
While these findings are promising, the trials have been relatively small and have not been peer-reviewed. So it may be a while before we know if covid dogs can come to the rescue for us. However, the results seem to show that dogs could help fight the virus and other methods.
Final thoughts: covid dogs bring Miami Heat fans back to the stadium
Covid dogs have been trained around the world to detect coronavirus. While the trials have been small, the results so far are promising. Perhaps shortly, many companies will employ dogs to sniff out the virus so life can return to normal. At this time, dogs have only been used in basketball games and airports.
With their keen sense of smell, it’s no wonder that dogs can detect viruses. Since the pandemic began, officials have been enforcing safety guidelines such as wearing masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing. Dogs can add another line of defense when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus.