Meet one of the dogs trained at FIU to sniff out scents associated with COVID-19 infection. Photo by: Margi Rentis/Florida International University

Florida International University announced Friday that researchers in its International Forensic Research Institute have trained four dogs to identify scents associated with the coronavirus.

One or more of them will visit the EOC next week, said Samantha Bequer, a spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, which leads the state’s emergency operations.

FIU spokeswoman Lourdes Perez told the Phoenix up to three of the dogs will sweep the EOC to demonstrate their skills, which could be useful in detecting infection in various settings.

The dogs were trained to distinguish among scents acquired from COVID-infected and non-infected people.

Photo By: Margi Rentis/Florida International University

“COVID-19 produces unique odor chemicals and also causes metabolic changes in those infected with the virus, resulting in odors that dogs can detect,” said Dr. DeEtta Mills, director of the International Forensic Institute.

Perez said the trained dogs include one Belgian Malinois, a Dutch Shepherd, and two small rescue dogs.

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