Google Doodle honours the late Chinese-Malaysian Dr Wu Lien-teh, man behind the mask


KUALA LUMPUR March 10. Google Doodle today featured the late Chinese-Malaysian epidemiologist Dr Wu Lien-teh, who created a surgical face covering, widely considered the precursor of the N95 mask. . . Google Doodle paid tribute to Dr Wu on the doctors 142nd birth anniversary. . . According to Google in its tribute, Dr Wu was the vice director for Chinas Imperial Army Medical College in 1908, following his doctoral studies. . . When an unknown epidemic afflicted north-western China in 1910, the Chinese government appointed Dr Wu to investigate the disease, which he identified as the highly contagious pneumonic plague that spread from human to human through respiratory transmission. To combat the disease, Dr Wu designed and produced a special surgical mask with cotton and gauze, adding several layers of cloth to filter inhalations, it said. . . Dr Wu then advised people to wear the newly-invented mask and worked with government officials to establish quarantine stations and hospitals, restrict travel and apply progressive sterilisation techniques. . . This contributed greatly to the end of the pandemic, also known as the Manchurian plague, by April 1911, just within four months of him being tasked with controlling its spread. . . It was also mentioned that Dr Wu, who was a Penangite, was the first student of Chinese descent to earn his MD from Cambridge University. . . In 1915, Dr Wu founded the Chinese Medical Association, the countrys largest and oldest non-governmental medical organisation. In 1935, he was the first Malaysian and the first person of Chinese descent nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work to control the pneumonic plague. . . A devoted advocate and practitioner of medical advancement, Dr Wus efforts not only changed public health in China but that of the entire world. Happy birthday to the man behind the mask, Dr Wu Lien-teh! it said.

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