+3 votes
in General Factchecking by Apprentice (1.4k points)
A CNN article came out and claimed that dogs may be able to smell infectious diseases, and can help detect covid in K-12 school. Is this true?
by Newbie (480 points)
According to UC Santa Barbara Science and Technology, Dogs can technically smell "symptoms" of COVID-19 illnesses. Professor at UCSB Tommy Dickey did some research, after working with therapy dogs he decided to look into the science part of things and began to conduct a study. He claims dogs can do the same work that an at-home covid test does, which consists of 95% accuracy.  Which overall means dogs can sniff out Presymtimcatic, asymptomatic and symptomatic forms of covid-19.

https://news.ucsb.edu/2023/021174/dogs-can-detect-covid-19-infections-faster-and-more-accurately-conventional-technology#:~:text=The%20dog%20standard&text=All%20these%20enhancements%20mean%20that,swimming%20pools%2C”%20Dickey%20said.

23 Answers

+14 votes
by Journeyman (2.7k points)
selected by
 
Best answer

According to the Hospital of Central Connecticut, technically dogs can smell the basic immune responses that the human body have to COVID-19 and other immune changes because a dogs sense of smell is incredibly strong. 

Your immune system has a signature smell that is unique to you and when you have an immune response to COVID-19 that smell changes to the point where dogs can recognize that something is off. 

According to the article linked below, a dog can identify if an individual has COVID-19 about as well as test and can identify individuals that have had COVID even after symptoms fade because the faint smell might still be different. 

https://thocc.org/about/news-press/news-detail?articleid=42926&publicId=395#:~:text=As%20it%20turns%20out%2C%20dogs,Bieluch.

Rating: More than likely not Misinformation

True
by Novice (670 points)
I think this is a really solid fact check, and I appreciate the source that was provided as it adds more legitimacy to the claim.
by Apprentice (1.6k points)
I thought this fact-check was very well thought out. I liked how you broke down the claim and found evidence that supported the claim well. I also liked how you picked a reputable source with a .org.
by Novice (550 points)
Your fact check did a great job determining whether the question was true or false. You used a reliable source from the Hospital of Central Connecticut, making your information trustworthy. The point about dogs being as good as tests and identifying COVID even after symptoms is a strong additional point. I would say a direct quote from the article could make your fact-check more transparent, but your healthcare source makes your answer credible!
by Novice (700 points)
This is an incredible fact-check! It's very thorough, yet concise and gets the point across, and includes the source from which the information was found. This is so fascinating to learn that dogs are capable of even more amazing skills!
by Apprentice (1.4k points)
I appreciated your detailed fact-check. It's a strong argument because your source is accredited. I would have liked to have at least one more source to back the other source as well. It's always better to show that there's been an equitable portion of research done on the topic. Overall, good work!
+3 votes
by Apprentice (1.3k points)
I also found a source confirming this. ABS News states, "Dogs can detect Covid with high accuracy, even asymptomatic cases". I would say that these two sources have strong enough evidence to deem this true.
True
by Genius (38.8k points)
Do you have a source link to ABS News? Is it a legitimate website?
by Apprentice (1.7k points)
I'd like to see a little more on the asymptomatic case, only because I thought the way the dogs can smell it was through the response of human immune system response. Should they be asymptomatic I'd love to know how it works!
by Novice (620 points)
This fact check could benefit from linked sources and further context about your quotes. I think that citing a direct source itself was a great way to support your fact check, so it would be even stronger with linked sources and more context.
+3 votes
by Apprentice (1.2k points)

According to a study done by The California Department of Public Health, "After 2 months of training on COVID-19 scent samples in the laboratory, the dogs achieved greater than 95% sensitivity and specificity for detection of the virus. " So I would say this is true. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2804205#:~:text=After%202%20months%20of%20training,1%20to%20May%2025%2C%202022.

True
by Novice (860 points)
I believe the same thing! This is a great article to read on the scenario!
by Newbie (400 points)
I like that you used a healthcare article from the California department of Public Health. This was a great source to fact check from! I like the fact that they have evidence of using labratory samples with dogs and showed actual stats to prove it. Something that would be nice to see is other article evidence to help back up and support this as well.
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.5k points)
This is true, according to an articel from understanding animal research dogs are able to smell human sickness as changes in human hormones and compounds relased by sick cells are easy for them to pickup on.

https://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/news/the-science-of-sniffs-disease-smelling-dogs
by Novice (860 points)
This is a great answer! It would make sense that they can since there are a lot of dogs used for different types of diseases such as diabetes.
by Novice (550 points)
I believe the same thing! How did you verify if the website "Understanding Animal Research" is a reliable source? Also you forgot to select a ranking for your fact-check.
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
From personal experience, when I had covid my dog wanted to be no where near me. So personally I think yes this could be true.
True
by Genius (38.8k points)
Personal experience is a great addition to any fact-check. It's also a good idea to dig deeper and see what literature, research, or news sources have found on the topic as well to have a more complete fact-check.
+1 vote
by Novice (840 points)
source: https://thocc.org/about/news-press/news-detail?articleid=42926&publicId=395#:~:text=As%20it%20turns%20out%2C%20dogs,Bieluch.

According to this article, "two studies published in 2022 - one from France, one from Germany - show that dogs may be able to sniff out long COVID." This article states that dogs can be trained to detect human diseases such as cancer and that can include COVID
True
0 votes
by Apprentice (1.1k points)

According to UCLA Health, it seems that specifically trained dogs are good at detecting COVID-19. Dogs have a history of assisting human with detecting disabilities and illnesses. For example, the article states that, "dogs can detect the presence of some chemicals in parts per trillion. This includes the volatile organic compounds produced by our bodies when we are ill, and which are released via sweat, urine, breath and the skin."

It was said that a few small studies were able to show that dogs could sniff out the Covid-19 infection. The article claims that more studies are needed to be absolutely certain, but the method is promising. 

https://www.uclahealth.org/news/specially-trained-dogs-can-sniff-out-covid-19-infection#:~:text=Professional%20trainers%20claimed%20high%20success,31%20individuals%20with%20no%20symptoms.

True
+1 vote
by Newbie (440 points)

 

 

According to Medpage today, it is true that trained dogs have been shown to be capable of detecting COVID-19 in airline passengers with similar accuracy to PCR tests. In a randomized trial at a busy international airport, the dogs demonstrated 92% accuracy, with 92% sensitivity and 91% specificity compared to the RT-PCR test. They correctly identified 98.7% of skin swabs negative on PCR in a real-life setting at the airport. The dogs were trained to detect SARS-CoV-2 positive samples from negative samples and were successful in identifying positive cases even when exposed to the Alpha variant. This method shows promise for screening COVID-infected individuals in mass transit settings.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/98746

True
0 votes
by Novice (860 points)
According to Understanding Animal Research.org dog's sense of smell can help detect diseases in humans. The article states, "Dogs' sense of smell is so subtle that they can notice the slightest change in human scent cause by disease. The tiniest shifts in hormones or volatile organic compounds released by diseased cells can be picked out by dogs." Although this article does not speak about COVID specifically you can infer that since covid is a type of disease it would be caught by a dog. They are able to detect many different disease and variations of diseases such as cancer. The article also states, "Canines proved to be able to correctly pick out the scent of children infection with malaria parasites 70% of the time from socks they had worn all night."

Link: https://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/news/the-science-of-sniffs-disease-smelling-dogs#:~:text=AND%20their%20noses%20differentiate%20between,be%20picked%20out%20by%20dogs.
by Genius (38.8k points)
How would you rate the claim? Don't forget to select a rating for each fact-check. Thanks!
+1 vote
by Novice (670 points)
This is true

According to UCLA health, dogs can sniff out COVID-19 infections. In one study, 97% of trained dogs could sniff out COVID-19 from sweat samples. This makes them more sensitive than rapid antigen tests. According to NBC news, dogs only need "a few molecules" to identify a positive case.

https://www.uclahealth.org/news/specially-trained-dogs-can-sniff-out-covid-19-infection#:~:text=Professional%20trainers%20claimed%20high%20success,samples%20taken%20from%20335%20people.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dogs-detect-covid-accuracy-rcna31438
True
by Apprentice (1.7k points)
The sources you used to fact-check this claim are credible and well-known. In terms of the content itself, the information seems to be accurate across both articles. I found an article from the National Institutes of Health that also confirms this claim to be true. The article also provides their testing methods, key findings, and statistics.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9751420/

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