COVID-19 Sniffer Dogs Tested at Helsinki Airport

Dogs trained in detecting COVID-19 were working on a trial program at Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to sniff out the illness in a matter of seconds based on sweat samples from passengers, according to a Finnish veterinary scientist.

Video sent to Storyful on September 24 shows a dog being offered three samples, and using its paw to swat the positive test. In an email, veterinary professor Anna Hielm-Björkman told Storyful the video shows a mock positive.

According to reports, international airports have studied various methods for rapid testing of COVID-19, but researchers in Finland found dogs to be “cheaper, faster and more effective.”

In this testing scenario, passengers arriving abroad wipe their necks to collect sweat samples and leave the samples in a box. Behind a wall, a dog trainer collects the samples and the dogs detect which sample may be COVID-19 positive in roughly 10 seconds, the report said.

This video shows the method in action. Credit: Anna Hielm-Björkman via Storyful