Dr. Wu Lien-teh Wiki
Dr. Wu Lien-teh Biography
Dr. Wu Lien-teh was a pioneer of surgical masks being celebrated in today’s Google Doodle on what would have been his 142nd birthday. The epidemiologist invented a surgical face covering that is considered the precursor to the N95 mask, widely used today to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Chinese-Malaysian man pioneered the use of face masks to control an epidemic more than a century before the arrival of COVID-19.
Dr. Wu Lien-teh Age
Born in Penang, Malaysia, on this day (March 10) in 1876, Wu would have been 142 years old.
Dr. Wu Lien-teh Early life
Wu was born into a family of Chinese immigrants in Penang, Malaya, which is present-day Malaysia. He became the first student of Chinese descent to earn his medical doctorate from Cambridge University before joining the Imperial Chinese Army Medical College as deputy director in 1908.
Dr. Wu Lien-teh Wife
Wu married Ruth Shu-chiung Huang, whose sister was married to Lim Boon Keng, a doctor who promoted social and educational reforms in Singapore. The sisters were daughters of Wong Nai Siong, a Chinese revolutionary leader and educator who had moved to the area from 1901 to 1906.
Wu and his family moved to China in 1907. During their stay in China, Wu’s wife and two of his three children died.
He remarried and had four more children.
Mask of Dr. Wu Lien-teh
In 1910, an unknown epidemic struck the Manchuria region and the Chinese government appointed Wu to investigate. He identified the disease as a highly contagious pneumonic plague spread through respiratory transmission, which became known as the Manchurian plague.
One of the ways Wu helped fight the spread of the disease was by designing a surgical mask out of cotton and gauze that included several layers of cloth to filter inhalations. Wu also advised people to wear his mask and worked with the government to establish quarantine stations and hospitals.
The doctor’s leadership helped end the pandemic in April 1911, four months after he was tasked with controlling the spread.
Wu founded the Chinese Medical Association, the country’s oldest and largest non-governmental medical association, in 1915. Twenty years later, Wu became the first Malay and the first person of Chinese descent to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or medicine. .
Dr. Wu Lien-teh’s Google Doodle
Google wrote: “As a devoted advocate and practitioner of medical advancement, Wu’s efforts not only changed public health in China but around the world. Happy birthday to the man behind the mask, Dr. Wu Lien-teh! ”
Happy birthday to the man behind the mask: Chinese-Malaysian epidemiologist Dr. Wu Lien-teh 🔬🥼
Dr. Wu Lien-teh’s Family
Dr. Wu Lien-teh’s great-granddaughter, Dr. Shan Woo Liu, is an adjunct physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has written a children’s book about him titled The Masked Hero: The Story of Wu Lien-Teh.
Dr Shan Woo Liu told Google: “We are honored that Google is celebrating our great-grandfather’s birthday. Just over a century ago, it helped fight a plague in China and developed techniques such as wearing masks that we still wear today. today in our battle against COVID-19. ”
Descendants of Dr. Wu Lien-teh
In 2020, Dr. Yvonne Ho identified and matched the 22 known medical and scientific descendants of Dr. Wu Lien-Teh who live in 14 different cities around the world. In May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she organized the Inaugural Meeting of these descendants via videoconference.
In July 2020, a collaborative article by some of these medical and scientific descendants was published for the first time, to honor Dr. Wu’s lifelong work in Public Health. In August 2020, the second group of his medical and scientific descendants published a second joint article in honor of Dr. Wu.