NHS staff have joined trials to see whether medical detection dogs could be used to sniff out covid-19 in asymptomatic people.
Staff at 11 UK hospitals have signed up to join the trial, with scientists hoping to collect 3,500 odour samples.
Volunteers are providing samples of breath and body odour by wearing a mask for three hours, and socks and a T-shirt for 12 hours.
Project lead, Prof James Logan, said the trial: “could revolutionise how we diagnose the virus, helping return our lives back to some sort of normality.”
Researchers estimate the animals could potentially screen up to 250 people an hour.
Kettering General Hospital is one of those where staff are volunteering. Lead nurse for research, Joanne Walsh, told BBC East: “Our contribution involves recruiting staff volunteers from colleagues who are about to have a covid-19 swab test.
“We send the samples, along with whether the person has tested positive or negative for covid-19, to the team who are doing the research with the dogs in Milton Keynes.
“This can then be compared with the actual test results on the person to see if the dog was right.”