Google Doodle pays homage to hand washing champion


FILE – In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said Tuesday Feb. 4, 2020, they have launched separate inquiries into Google and dating app Tinder over their processing of user data, in a fresh round of regulatory scrutiny aimed at tech companies. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

(CNN) — If you did a quick Google search on Saturday you may have noticed this animated clip of a man displaying how to properly wash your hands.

The Google Doodle is much more than that. It pays homage to Ignaz Semmelweis, the 19th century doctor widely credited with discovering the medical importance of washing our hands.

Semmelweis was working at the maternity wards at the Vienna General Hospital in the 1840’s when he noticed new mothers were dying of a disease called “childbed fever.”

There were many theories as to why this was happening, but the Hungarian doctor came up with a revolutionary idea. He asked the doctors at the ward to wash their hands in between operations and before helping women deliver their babies.

It worked, the mortality rate of mothers in the clinic fell considerably.

Although this hygiene genius faced criticism for his ideas back in his time today he is credited with helping humanity understand the importance of washing our hands.


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