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Why This Matters: COVID-19 detecting dogs could be immensely helpful in rooting out the disease in places where it might otherwise be hard to detect, such as sporting events, airports to find the virus on surfaces, and border crossings, and places where early detection is important, like nursing homes and retirement communities, and by helping to screen people within the medical care sector who test positive so as to avoid unnecessary quarantines for those who have been exposed. The sooner we can detect that a person has contracted COVID-19, the sooner we can keep everyone else safe.
Dogs Can Detect Many Health Conditions
Dogs are able to detect many diseases effectively because their sense of smell is far superior to that of humans — we have about 5 million olfactory cells, but dogs have hundreds of millions more — a 125 million for dachshunds and 220 million for sheepdogs. Plus, dogs inhale much more often so they are constantly supplied with new odor particles that they can quickly discern with their olfactory cells.
According to researchers, some diseases, like cancer and diabetes, for example, can be detected by trained dogs. Researchers have found in one study that dogs can detect breast cancer with a 93% probability and lung cancer with a 97% probability, and other cancers too, just less reliably. Unfortunately, dogs with this training are not readily available, but they could be, but first, the researchers must determine whether the training with the aggressive virus is dangerous or not for humans and dogs.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction. The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.
Why This Matters: These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.
We just love a tsunami with a happy ending! The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on St. Simons Island had been rehabilitating Tsunami, an endangered green sea turtle that was hit by a boat in 2017, for years with the hope of setting her free in the ocean. But her injuries were too severe to survive […]
By Will Gartshore, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s an old aphorism that still rings painfully true today. Long before Covid-19, the three deadliest pandemics in human history—the bubonic plague, Spanish influenza and HIV/AIDS—claimed more lives than all the […]
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