Dog detects C. diff bacteria at North Carolina hospital

A beagle helps detect dangerous bacteria at Greenville, N.C.-based Vidant Medical Center, according to NBC affiliate WITN.

Harley the dog was trained to work with people and sniff out Clostridioides difficile. She sniffs around the hospital rooms twice a week. When she finds C. diff she sits down, alerting staff of the bacteria. 

"Every hospital has C. diff cases, but our rates are about half of what the national average is," Paul Cook, MD, a professor of medicine and chief of the division of infectious diseases at Greenville-based East Carolina University, told WECT. "Is part of that because of Harley? I don't know, but I'd like to think so."

Harley was trained for eight months and is able to distinguish the bacteria out of 1,000 or more other scents. While there was another beagle in the Netherlands that could detect C. diff,  Harley is one of the only known beagles in the U.S. who has this skill.

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