As the world is scrambling to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, Google today is celebrating the doctor who first discovered handwashing benefits. Google remembered the well-known physician Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, the man who first told the world about the advantages of washing hands.
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was a physician born on July 1, 1818 in Budapest, Hungary. Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever, which was common at the time, could be cut drastically by washing our hands with disinfections. However, Semmelweis' idea was rejected by the medical community due to lack of evidence.
Semmelweis was appointed assistant to Professor Johann Klein in the First Obstetrical Clinic of the Vienna General Hospital and his job there was to supervise difficult deliveries and teach students. While at the hospital, Semmelweis discovered that doctors were attending patients, especially to-be mothers without washing hands, thus transmitting infectious materials into them.
Semmelweis after a thorough investigation asked doctors to wash their hands before attending patients. As a result, this brought down the level of transmission of infections into patients. Semmelweis' discovery inspired young medical aspirants at Vienna General Hospital, who recognised the importance and came forward with all the assistance. Semmelweis' hygiene recommendations would decades later be known as the "germ theory of disease."
The man who taught the world about the importance of washing hands was honoured by a Google Doodle today because of the ongoing global crisis, an infectious disease outbreak that has so far killed more than 10,000 people and has infected over 2,45,000. The COVID-19 is being said originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Scientists are yet to develop a vaccine to fight the deadly virus, however, the human trials have begun in the United States earlier this week.