(CNN/Meredith) -- Dogs trained to detect COVID-19 will be screening employees at Miami International Airport.
Miami-Dade County's Aviation Department and Florida International University (FIU) are implementing a 30-day pilot program for screening airport employees, making it the first US airport to test COVID-sniffing canines. The dogs are deployed at an employee security checkpoint.
FIU researchers have trained the canines to detect an odor produced by the metabolic changes in people infected with coronavirus. The dogs can detect this odor in a person’s breath and sweat. If a dog indicates an individual is carrying the odor of the virus, that person is directed to get a rapid COVID-19 test.
In a press release, the airport said the dogs have had hundreds of training sessions at FIU's Modesto Maidique Campus in Miami this year. Two dogs have been trained to detect COVID-19 and will be used at Miami International Airport – Cobra, a Belgian Malinois, and One Betta, a Dutch Shepherd.
The dogs had accuracy rates of 96-99% for detecting COVID-19 in published peer-reviewed, double-blind trials.
It’s unclear if there are plans to use the detector dogs on the public at airport security checkpoints.