Bacteria-sniffing dog helps keep hospital clean


NORTH CAROLINA (WITN) — Detecting dangerous bacteria can be difficult, but an unusual new helper is sniffing around Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina to help patients.

Harley the beagle is possibly the only dog in the U.S. working to detect this kind of bacteria in hospitals.

Her owner, Keith Pittman, trained her to work with people, using treats to help her sniff out C. Diff, a bacteria common in hospital rooms that can cause unpleasant symptoms, illness and sometimes death when it’s spread around on things like doorknobs or bed rails.

“Every hospital has C. Diff cases but our rates are about half of what the national average is. I think – is part of that because of Harley? I don’t know but I’d like to think so,” sayd Dr. Paul Cook of the ECU Brody School of Medicine.

Harley comes twice a week to sniff around the rooms and when she finds the C. Diff she sits down, so Dr. Cook knows where to clean with bleach. 

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