Google Doodle celebrates the inventor of surgical masks on his 142nd birthday


In its newest homepage Doodle, Google celebrates what can be the 142nd birthday of Dr. Wu Lien-teh, inventor of an early model of the multi-layered surgical masks we’ve got all come to depend on. 

Born on March 10, 1879 to a Chinese language-Malaysian household in Penang, Malaya, Wu was the primary Chinese language scholar to obtain a medical diploma from Cambridge College. In 1908, he was appointed vice director for China’s Imperial Military Medical Faculty, overseeing medical coaching for army personnel. Wu was additionally tasked with investigating the 1911 Manchurian plague, an epidemic that killed 60,000 folks. 

Wu found shortly that the illness was unfold via respiratory transmission. He constructed an extra-protective surgical masks with layers of cotton and gauze, and advised members of the general public in addition to medical professionals to undertake the protecting masks. In response to a Google blog post in regards to the Doodle launch, Wu additionally “labored with authorities officers to determine quarantine stations and hospitals, prohibit journey, and apply progressive sterilization strategies.”

Wu was capable of comprise the illness’s unfold in simply 4 months. 

Google labored with Wu’s household, together with his great-granddaughters Dr. Shan Woo Liu and Ling Woo Liu, to doc their great-grandfather’s legacy. Chatting with Google about her household historical past, Dr. Liu mentioned that Wu impacted her personal profession aspirations. “Rising up, we heard our father’s tales about our great-grandfather — that he was well-known for controlling the Manchurian pneumonic plague, a illness that was lethal for almost everybody who contracted it,” she mentioned. “His story stirred one thing in me, and from an early age, I dreamed of changing into a health care provider… At present, as an emergency doctor treating COVID-19 sufferers, I recognize his bravery all of the extra.”

Wu in a laboratory in 1901.
Wu in a laboratory in 1901.

Wu went on to discovered the Chinese language Medical Affiliation in 1915 and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Drugs in 1935 for his work containing the epidemic in China. 

As a medical skilled, Liu says she has seen the impact of her great-grandfather’s work firsthand. “I additionally really feel nearer to him than ever as I urge my sufferers to follow social distancing and to put on a masks, the very strategies he pioneered as he rescued China, and presumably the world, from a scourge,” Liu mentioned. “Wu Lien-teh stays as a lot of a hero now as he was then.”

Dr. Wu’s celebratory Doodle can also be accompanied by COVID-19 resources and safety recommendations, compiled by Google. 


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