Airports deploy dogs trained to sniff out coronavirus

A new program will attempt to help sniff out fliers who could be infected with COVID-19 at the Helsinki Airport.
2:48 | 09/25/20

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Transcript for Airports deploy dogs trained to sniff out coronavirus
We turn to the new program attempting to sniff out coronavirus among fliers. One airport using dogs to stop travelers who may be infected. Transportation correspondent gio Benitez is at Laguardia airport with more. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Hey, Michael. Good morning. Yeah. We should say scientists are looking closely at this, but some doctors really believe that the next tool in finding covid-19 is right under a dog's nose. This morning, Finland is willing to bet a dog's nose may be powerful enough to identify covid-19. Helsinki airport launching a pilot program with ten so-called coronavirus-sniffing dogs. Now here's how the airport says the trial works. A traveler will swipe their skin with a wipe. It's put in a jar, and in a second room, a dog will sniff it. The trainers in Finland say the dog will have an answer in just ten seconds. The airport says preliminary tests conducted by a university research group say dogs are able to smell the virus with almost 100% certainty. Though it may be different in the real world, something American doctors are looking at too because even lab-run covid tests can produce false positives or false negatives. We're starting to look at if dogs can detect an odor associated with covid-19. Reporter: Dr. Cynthia Otto at the university of Pennsylvania school of veterinary medicine telling "Gma" early they are year about a groundbreaking program to see if dogs could identify covid-19. What we're trying to do is find if there is an odor, a volatile, organic compound basically that is telling us that there is a difference. What we're hoping is that the dogs can figure that out. Reporter: The results of that study are currently under journal review. Good girl. Good job. Reporter: Still both customs and border protection and TSA tell ABC news that there are no plans to train canines to detect covid-19. And again, scientists have not yet confirmed that here, but they are studying it and a lot of people, Michael, are interested in those results. And gio, with know here in the U.S., one airline is launching a pilotgram to test passengers for some Reporter: Yeah, so in mid October, this is very interesting. In mid October, united airlines is going to start offering up rapid testing. This is only for flights from San Francisco to Hawaii so visitors can avoid that 14-day quarantine on the island. This is optional though, and if you test positive, you cannot go past security. We may see more of this in the weeks and months ahead, Michael. All right. Thank you, gio. All three of us are discussing having our dogs trained. Yes. It's a lost cause in our house. None of our dogs could do it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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