Florida International University announced Friday that researchers in its International Forensic Research Institute have trained four dogs to identify scents associated with the coronavirus.
One or more of them will be in Tallahassee next week demonstrating their skills at the state’s Emergency Operations Center, said Samantha Bequer, a spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, which leads the state’s emergency operations.
The dogs were trained to distinguish among scents acquired from COVID-infected and non-infected people.
“COVID-19 produces unique odor chemicals and also causes metabolic changes in those infected with the virus, resulting in odors that dogs can detect,” said Dr. DeEtta Mills, director of the International Forensic Institute.
FIU spokeswoman Lourdes Perez said the trained dogs include one Belgian Malinois, a Dutch Shepherd and two small rescue dogs.
This report first appeared on the website of the Florida Phoenix, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to coverage of state government and politics from Tallahassee.