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Dogs are being trained to sniff out coronavirus cases

As some states move to reopen after weeks of shutdowns, infectious disease experts say the prevention of future coronavirus outbreaks will require scaling up testing and identifying asymptomatic carriers. Eight Labrador retrievers — and their powerful noses — have been enlisted to help.

The dogs are the first trainees in a University of Pennsylvania research project to determine whether canines can detect an odor associated with the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. If so, they might eventually be used in a sort of “canine surveillance” corps, the university said — offering a noninvasive, four-legged method to screen people in airports, businesses or hospitals.