Does the deadly Corona virus wear a perfume? If it does, is it Givenchy Very Irresistible, Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne or Paco Rabanne lady Million? Scientists haven’t quite determine what brand the virus loves. Is it even a “perfume or a body odor”. Scientists say they don’t really care. All they know is that the killer, besides wearing what Nigerian ladies call “shooku-shooku” hair style, it also carries a distinct smell and they are determined to find out whether that smell has a consistent signature or it changes it at will.
To unravel this mystery, scientists have gone back to man’s all time friend, the dog. Specifically, they have chosen eight Labrador retrievers and their powerful noses to do the trick.
A dog’s nose is not a joke.
According to some experts, a dog’ sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times better than ours, mostly because they have over 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us.That makes it possible for a dog to smells things that humans and even some technology can’t. Besides, the nose of a dog is so complex that it can separate breathing from smelling by the use of specialized tissues.
So, what exactly do scientists want to do?
The most dangerous antic of the Corona virus is its ability to infect whiteout the carrier showing any signs of ill health. However, when a person is infected with some diseases the body excretes certain compounds which can be picked up by the nose of a trained dog.
Already, Labradors have been successful trained to detect individuals with tumors, low blood sugar, malaria, and certain cancers and non health items such as drugs, explosives and contraband food.
The scientists are therefore exposing the eight Labrador dogs under training to the actual smell of Corona viruses as well as persons that are asymptomatic and symptomatic. If the experiment works out, scientists based at the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine believe that one trained dog can sniff out 250 persons every hour.
Ultimately, the scientists want to develop an electronic sniffer that can mimick the Labrador dogs and process thousands of people in a short time. Such sniffers can then be deployed at airports, stadiums and anywhere else they can be installed for a cheap non invasive screening.
Only God knows what he has planted in the minds of men!