While the corona virus continues to spread and affect people around the world, Google is now underlining the importance of hand washing. His doodle is reminiscent of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, who was the first to discover the benefits of hand washing.
Ignaz Semmelweis was born on July 1, 1818 in Buda (now Budapest), Hungary. He received his doctorate from the University of Vienna and graduated with a master's degree in midwives.
The Hungarian doctor was appointed chief resident in the maternity hospital of the Vienna General Hospital, where he explained the importance of clean hands and demonstrated that doctors should disinfect their hands before caring for patients, especially mothers.
A mysterious infection, also known as "child bed fever", led to high mortality rates among young mothers in maternity wards across Europe.
After a thorough examination, Semmelweis concluded that doctors transfer infectious material from operations to their mothers through their hands. Medical personnel were immediately asked to wash their hands before and after the treatment of the patients. This reduced the extent of the infections transmitted.
Young medical aspirants and students in Vienna recognized the importance of the discovery of Semmelweis and came out with all their support.
In 1855 Semmelweis was appointed professor of obstetrics at the University of Pest and in 1861 he published his main work The Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.
In 1865 Semmelweis collapsed and was taken to a mental hospital where he died. Ironically, his illness and death were caused by the infection of a wound on his right hand. He died of the same illness that he had fought for throughout his professional life.
Decades later, the hygiene recommendations were validated as the "germ theory of the disease".