Google is honouring Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis with a Google Doodle that reminds everyone to wash their hands, which is especially apt in the current situation. Semmelweis was the first person to discover the medical benefits of hand washing. The Doodle has a play button, clicking on which plays a short video, explaining how you should wash your hands and for how long. This comes at a time when the world is struggling to overcome the coronavirus pandemic for which one of the methods of prevention is to maintain proper hygiene.
The Google Doodle page, which has a video from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) YouTube channel showing how to properly wash hands, shares some history on Semmelweis. It states that in 1847, the Semmelweis found that washing hands greatly reduced the spreading of disease. During his time at University of Vienna where he went to get his doctorate, he found that a mysterious disease known as “childbed fever” was leading to death of new mothers in maternity wards in 1818. After interrogating, Dr. Ignaz found that doctors “transmitting infectious material from earlier operations and autopsies to susceptible mothers through their hands.”
Semmelweis is remembered as “the father of infection control” and has been rightfully honoured by the search giant. Google also provides a poster that details how people should wash their hands. It has been made available in almost every country in the world, as seen in the interactive map which shows a list of past doodles when a particular region is selected.
Along with the doodle, there is also a “DO THE FIVE” link below the search bar which suggests five ways in which the spread of coronavirus can be controlled.