Google dedicates the doodle to the doctor who explained the importance of washing your hands

The doodle on Friday 20 March is dedicated to Ignaz Semmelweis, the doctor who explained how to wash your hands well and why it is so important.

Google dedicated the doodle (image or animated video that sometimes replaces the company logo on its home page) of today, March 20, 2020, to Ignac Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor who lived in the first half of the 1800s and who is remembered for his important studies on contact bacterial transmission and the importance of washing your hands properly.

In 1847, Dr. Semmelweis discovered that puerperal fever, an illness that in those years caused the death of as many as 40% of hospital births, was caused by an infection very similar to the one that was leading to the death of many doctors who injured themselves while treating infected patients or examining corpses.

This led the doctor to speculate that the virus was carried by doctors who, before going to assist women in labor, did not wash their hands, with whom they had touched other patients with viruses or bacteria shortly before.

Hence the decision to require doctors and students to wash and disinfect their hands with a chlorine solution before assisting women. This reduced the mortality rate by 90%, making it clear that hands could be a source of infection and that one of the main tools available was to wash them properly and with appropriate solutions.

Even today, as in 1847, washing your hands properly is very important to contain the spread of Covid-19 or coronavirus. The doodle shows the right movements to perform and the time needed for the operation to give the best results: 60 seconds.

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