Hybrid dogs created by a scientist from the Soviet era are training near Moscow to monitor Covid-19 infections at airports, amid the accelerating pace of the epidemic in Russia.
At a dog-training laboratory in the northwestern city of Khimki, a small gray dog smelled twelve containers of urine in them.
The director of the dog training center of the Russian “Aeroflot” company, Elena Bataeva, explains that dogs are trained to monitor the virus using urine samples because it is the most pure substance and without strange odors for cosmetics or perfumes.
These dogs learn quickly and are able to detect any odor from a distance of 1.5 meters, Batayeva says.
The official indicates that the virus itself does not smell, but the urine of patients has a different smell, however, there is no risk of infection to humans or dogs during these exercises.
Dog trainers do not use any materials contaminated with the virus, as the urine is free of it, and this has been verified and confirmed by researchers at the Victor Center in Siberia, which is developing one of the Russian vaccines against Covid-19.
Aeroflot Director General Vitaly Saveliev, on his part, said recently that these dogs are also able to detect infections with the emerging corona virus, by smelling masks on the plane or samples of saliva.
This project aims to strengthen health security at airports at a time when Russia records record numbers of HIV infections daily.
The dog training center of “Aeroflot” includes 69 animals of a family called Chalaika, a hybrid that was obtained in the time of the Soviet Union, after mating between dogs and jackal animals, but it was not officially registered in Russia until two years ago.
These dogs are distinguished by a very advanced sense of smell and are used in recent years in Moscow airports to detect explosives.
The country witnessed 12,126 new injuries on Friday, in a toll that exceeds the previous highest level recorded in May, when the country was subject to strict lockdown measures, and returning to it is currently excluded.
Since the start of the epidemic, Russia has officially recorded more than 1.27 million infections, including more than 22,000 deaths, and it is still fourth on the list of countries with the highest numbers of infections.
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