Sniffing Dogs Will Help Detect Coronavirus at Helsinki Airport

They come, search, and rescue. What else is next?
Deniz Yildiran
Coronavirus-sniffing dogs and their trainers at Helsinki AirportJyri Huhtala/Vantaa city administration

Dogs are once again on duty to help us with our well-being. Surprised? Us neither. 

They will basically sniff you to detect the coronavirus if you ever pass by Helsinki Airport. It will take a minute and the results will be out in 10 seconds, as Washington Post reports. It looks like our cute friends have a chance of doing better than some current technology.

Finland's pilot program at Helsinki Airport will test every visitor without a fee to not take any risks, starting on September 23. They will start with dogs sniffing sweat samples to avoid close contact with the travelers and the samples will be submitted through an opening wall, per Washington Post. 


According to Anna Hielm-Björkman, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, dogs might spot the coronavirus more accurately than PCR and antibody tests. They may also detect people who will test PCR positive within a week, even when they are not yet. 

The researches for training dogs to detect coronavirus were already conducted shortly after the pandemic started. One of them included pieces worn by coronavirus patients, later on, they were presented with the dogs to sniff. It seems that there are new exciting updates on this. 

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Only four are ready

The number of dogs is very few if you were wondering. The voluntary project trained 16 dogs. However, only four of them made it through the training. Six of them unfortunately didn't seem to stand the noisy airport and the rest is still progressing.  

It comes as no surprise that they get tired, as we humans do.  

“You see very easily on a dog when it starts to get tired,” Hielm-Björkman said.

We wish our friends that are still in the training process luck and hope to see them continue to be our life-savers soon. 

H/T: Washington Post

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