These dogs know you have malaria before you do

Source:  Popular Science / By Jillian Mock October 30, 2018


Dogs are the superheroes we don’t deserve. They look incredible in capes, can parse human speech, and can even read your mood. They also might be able to sniff out malaria.

A group of researchers in the United Kingdom trained dogs to detect malaria in people infected with the disease but who had no fever or physical symptoms. They presented the results this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans.

Malaria is a global problem. Despite $2.7 billion in funding to eradicate the disease, malaria still infected 216 million people and killed 445,000 worldwide in 2016, according to the World Health Organization. Some countries have had success—Sri Lanka, for example, declared itself malaria-free that same year—but others, like South Africa, have fallen behind the WHO’s goal of eliminating malaria in that country by the year 2020.

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