COVID-19-sniffing dogs on the job at Miami International Airport

MIAMI — The Miami International Airport has a unique take on the fight against COVID-19.

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The airport has deployed dogs to detect potentially infected travelers before the passengers can board flights, CBS News reported.

“We’re blessed in Miami-Dade County to have the first COVID-sniffing dogs — actually, we have a couple of them — and it’s the first airport anywhere that’s utilizing this type of technology in our four-legged friends.”

The dogs’ names are Cobra and Beta and they showed what they can do Wednesday, WSVN reported. They are part of a program with Florida International University, where the dogs were trained to alert handlers to the smell of the virus. When it smells the virus, the dog will jump.

“We basically get face coverings from patients at Baptist Health South Florida that have COVID and are recovering,” FIU Provost Kenneth Furton told WSVN. “We basically use ultraviolet light to kill the virus, and the odor is still there. So, when you get COVID-19, you produce volatile organic compounds, it’s called.”

Furton said the dogs detect the volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

The dogs’ trainers said the animals get the detection right 97% of the time, CBS News reported.

The pilot program will run for 30 days, WSVN reported.

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