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Covid-sniffing dogs just started working at Miami airport and they're incredibly accurate
via Florida International University

A new 30-day pilot program at the Miami International Airport has enlisted man's best friend to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Cobra and Beta are among the world's first canines trained to sniff out the virus and they are using their skills to detect potentially infected travelers before they board flights.

"We're blessed in Miami-Dade County to have the first COVID-sniffing dogs — actually, we have a couple of them — and it's the first airport anywhere that's utilizing this type of technology in our four-legged friends," Miami-Dade Commission Chair Jose "Pepe" Diaz said, adding that they're a "big win for the community."

Early studies show they're incredibly good at their new jobs.


"The dogs are 97% accurate," an airport official said. "I mean, it's the same as a PCR test, so it's a great thing." The dogs have been trained to detect the scent of COVID-19 on face masks and when they come across the virus, they jump to alert their handlers.

The dogs are part of a program with Florida International University (FIU) and were taught to detect the virus by smelling face coverings from recovering COVID-19 patients at the Baptist Health South Florida hospital.

Researchers used ultraviolet light on the masks to kill the virus without eradicating its smell. Then the dogs were exposed to masks with and without the virus to learn how to differentiate between the two.

The dogs' trainers say they're one of the most reliable ways to detect the virus and they will not need special training to recognize new variants.

"The dogs generalize odors, so … the dog will pick up the different variants," FIU Provost Kenneth Furton said.

Although the research on dogs and COVID-19 isn't robust, there have been a few reports of dogs getting the virus. But according to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 doesn't pose much of a risk to them.

"Of the pets that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered," the CDC says on its website. "Serious illness in pets appears to be extremely rare."

If this pilot program is successful it could be a huge win for public health. COVID-sniffing dogs could be used at just about any large gathering of people to detect those with the virus. Authorities could pull aside those who set off a dog's covid senses and they could be given a rapid test to confirm the results.

Cobra and Beta are able to detect the smell of COVID-19 because they have a sense of smell that is so developed it's nearly impossible for humans to imagine.

It's estimated that dogs can smell anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans. They have 100 million sensory receptors in their nasal cavities compared to a human's six million. The area of the canine brain that processes scent is 40 times larger than that of a human.

Let's hope that the test goes well and that man's best friend can give us one more option to protect ourselves from the coronavirus.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

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