Air travel could be a lot safer than it is now, when it comes to COVID-19 -- instead of relying on the honor system to screen passengers, dogs that can sniff the virus could be deployed.
The dogs are being trained at Florida International University, and Dr. DeEtta Mills, who's leading the program, joined us Monday on "TMZ Live" to explain how the canines get up to snuff.
The good doc says their program is similar to how dogs learn to detect bombs and drugs -- but instead of explosives and contraband, trainers used discarded face masks from COVID-positive patients.
The NBA's Miami Heat are about to start using coronavirus-sniffing dogs to screen fans at AmericanAirlines Arena ... and Dr. Mills thinks our airlines and airports could adopt the process too.
Virus-sniffing dogs are already being used to detect COVID-19 in Chile, United Arab Emirates and Finland. Researchers say the highly-trained canines detect the disease with almost 100% accuracy.
Dr. Mills also tells us how each dog will be trained to alert for COVID, bombs and drugs at the airport ... get ready for a lot of nervous fliers.