Autobiography – Plague fighter: The autobiography of a modern Chinese physician

This is an amazing autobiography. Written by a Malaysian doctor born in Penang in 1879, he was the first Chinese to be educated in medicine at Cambridge. He was able to converse in English, French and German besides Mandarin.

The first 4 chapters are fascinating to read as Dr Wu began his biography with a detailed account of how he was appointed by the Chinese imperial authority to investigate a plague that has been devastating Manchuria in 1910. He was successful. The steps he implemented like wearing masks, segregation of infected patients, mass cremation, tracing contacts etc are no different from what is happening now in the fight against Covid-19.

The Manchurian plague was a pneumonia plague. 60, 000 died. {see p 33}.

Dr Wu is justly honoured by China and the Malayan governments for his public services. This book should be required reading for all medical students to inspire them that the profession is more than just a profession.

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