Q1. Are the dogs trained to detect COVID-19 zeroing in on the infection caused by the SARS- CoV-2 virus specifically, or are they detecting a broader array of similar viral infections, such as the seasonal flu and/or cold?
A1. The dogs are trained to directly detect the SARS-COV2 virus. We've checked to make sure that they do not respond to any seasonal flus, colds, or other related coronaviruses.
Q2. How far does a COVID-19 infection need to progress before a canine can pick up the scent?
A2. We're not sure yet. The early evidence indicates that the canines can detect COVID infections days before any other type of assay, but because we cannot do controlled infections we don't know exactly how early the canines can find COVID.
Q3. Will different virus strains of SARS- CoV-2 affect the original scent the canine has been imprinted on during training?
A3. No, the other variants of COVID have minor changes, but the majority of the target scent is identical among all COVID strains.
Q4. What will the process entail if an individual receives a positive alert from a Bio-Detection canine?
A4. That depends on what the customer wants. We typically tell folks that the canines are a pretty accurate early detection method, and that they need to go see their health care provider and get follow up COVID testing.
Q5. How will vaccines change the need of Bio-Detection canine detection services?
A5. Vaccines don't seem to affect the canines ability to detect COVID. So far we know that the canines will not alert on individuals vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
6. Can Bio-Detection canines’ contract and become ill with the COVID-19 virus?
A6. It's possible but highly unlikely. So far only 46 dogs in the entire world have tested positive for COVID, and only two of those dogs were one of the breeds that we use for COVID detection (both German shepherds). In every case where dogs became infected with COVID, they lived with COVID infected people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we use canines to detect COVID they come into contact with potentially infected people for a couple of seconds, that's it. Since the risk of infection is a function of time of exposure, distance, and concentration of virus we think our detector canines will be at very low risk. In addition, it's important to remember that there are no reports of COVID infected canines transmitting to any other animals or humans.