Will dogs detect COVID-19 in Israel?

Arutz Sheva, in an exclusive interview, spoke with Yekutiel Ben Yakov of the Israel Dog Unit about his "Coronadogs" who can smell COVID-19.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Yekutiel Ben Yakov
Yekutiel Ben Yakov
Arutz Sheva

Dogs are not only man’s best friend. It turns out they are also nearly as good as a lab test when it comes to detecting dangerous viruses.

Yekutiel Ben Yakov of the Israel Dog Unit gave an exclusive interview to Arutz Sheva where he spoke about his patented “Coronadogs.”

With him was dog Aden and Aden’s handler Joseph.

Ben Yakov spoke about his miraculous canines who through a special patented method have been trained to sniff out COVID-19 in large crowds, such as sporting events. The dogs have already been used in the US. An example given was outside a Miami Heat basketball game.

“Now thousands of people can come together and feel a lot safer,” Ben Yakov said.

The dog and handler walk through the crowd. And just like a bomb sniffing dog, if the Coronadog smells COVID, the dog will sit down in front of the person who is sick.

“Just like we have dogs that can sniff bombs and can sniff drugs, there are dogs that can sniff diseases,” Ben Yakov said.

He explained that his dogs have been tested at an accuracy of 92 percent side by side with a PCR test.

The training for Coronadogs is very similar to the method for teaching dogs to smell anything. While it’s very difficult to isolate the smell of COVID and very dangerous, they use a proprietary method involving a secret technology they have patented to train their dogs to smell COVID.

Ben Yakov is optimistic that his technology will be introduced into Israel soon.

“We’re hoping with enough media attention that we can have every leverage on the politicians to move forward with this,” he said, noting that implementing the dogs and their miracle noses won’t cost anything for taxpayers or the government. They simply need to be given the proper permits and the go ahead to proceed.

“We want to replicate the successes we have had in the States. Bring it to Israel,” he said.

The Israel Dog Unit is also involved in canine search and rescue. He mentioned Aden, who he credited with helping to find a missing person last week in Netanya.

“It’s fantastic work (the dogs) are doing,” he said.

When asked if the dogs feel a sense of satisfaction when they find missing people, Ben Yakov said that he believes the dogs feel as happy as their handlers and the human searchers when a missing person is found.

“We feel great. The dogs feel great. There’s no better friend of mankind and of the Jews,” he said.

He referred to the story of the Jews departing Egypt and the dogs not barking.

“We have a special relationship with dogs… They just want to make us happy. They’re doing fantastic,” he said.



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