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Google Doodle celebrates Dr. Wu Lien-teh, surgical mask pioneer

Wu's work quite 100 years ago helped knock down a highly contagious respiratory illness within months.

Google on Wednesday is honoring Dr. Wu Lien-teh, a Chinese-Malaysian epidemiologist who created a surgical face covering widely believed to be the forerunner of today's N95 mask. To celebrate this achievement, Google dedicated its Doodle to Wu on the doctor's 142nd birthday.

After becoming the first student of Chinese descent to study at Cambridge University, Wu went to work for the Chinese government, becoming vice director of the military Medical College in 1908. 

When a highly lethal epidemic broke call at northwestern China in 1910, Wu was tasked by the govt with investigating the disease, which he determined to be a highly contagious plague .

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