Typhoid Mary

I'm trying not to be Typhoid Mary.

Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938), also known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States to be identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever. Over the course of her career as a cook, she infected 47 people, three of whom died from the disease. Her notoriety is in part due to her vehement denial of her own role in spreading the disease, together with her refusal to cease working as a cook. She was forcibly quarantined twice by public health authorities and died in quarantine. It is possible that she was born with the disease, as her mother had typhoid fever during her pregnancy.

I believe I have the flu.  Went home early on Thursday, spent most of the weekend asleep and on cold medicine, and had an interesting discussion about aliens who like pineapples on Sunday that was probably medication-induced.

Mary Mallon's first stay in quarantine was three years in isolation, you can understand the poor woman thinking she was being persecuted.  But when they let her out, she changed her name and got another job as a cook after promising not to prepare food.  Her autopsy showed live typhoid bacteria, she was still a carrier at age 69.  She was the first healthy carrier of typhoid identified, and the authorities had little idea of what to do with her.

Subscribe to Quantum Tea

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Follow me on Mastodon