Our dogs do not only provide us relief by their cuteness and friendliness, they too could detect some of the deadliest illnesses that can hit a human being.
Dogs use their nose as their primary defense mechanism and to sniff things, but did you know that dogs’ noses can also detect malaria, a deadly disease caused by mosquito bites.
Just in October last year, experts proved in a study that pooch show high accuracy in detecting human diseases like prostate and thyroid cancer, as well as diabetes. The same study showed that dogs can also detect malaria by sniffing people’s socks.
Steven Lindsay, one of the researchers and a public health entomologist at Durham University, notes that a dog’s smell is very keen to detect early stage of malaria.
The researchers asked Gambia students to wear nylon socks overnight. These socks, afterward, were frozen and brought to the United Kingdom where two trained Labrador dogs to sniff the socks.
These Labrador dogs can tell if the socks were worn by a person infected by Malaria since they were trained to do so for several months before the test was conducted.
The team of researchers observed whether the two Labradors would pause at any of the socks, a sign from their previous training that the person who wore the sock is indeed infected with malaria.
They then deduced that each of the two dogs was able to correctly identify children infected with malaria during that time. The results say that the two dogs 70 percent of the time or seven out of ten is correct in identifying which sock is positive with malaria.
While the dogs had some mistakes, Lindsay underscored that this is proof that a dog’s smell is a powerful detector of early signs of malaria.
Lindsay, meanwhile, promised that the team would continue with the research and provide more information about this facet of a dog’s behavior and how it can help in the medical field.
Credits to Sky News.