Jenna Gadberry is using her extensive background in chemical and biological defense to answer the question: Could dogs detect COVID-19?
Jenna Gadberry ’03 is using her extensive background in chemical and biological defense to answer the question: Could dogs detect COVID-19?
Gadberry, a researcher with the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center, has studied canine detection for military explosives. When the question about COVID-19 arose, her team partnered with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Working Dog Center.
“My colleagues and I look at the dog as the ultimate technology,” Gadberry said. “I will put something out there, and if my machine can’t find it, I’m always going to double check it with a dog.”
The dogs are trained to respond to the odors of COVID-19, the metabolites produced by someone who has the virus. A dog’s sensitive nose can be trained to hone in on the smell immediately, even before the person has developed symptoms like a fever.
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