Friday, January 15, 2016
Terrible Typhoid Mary
A detailed account of the life and history - what little there is of it - of Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary. In the early part of the 20th century, she was responsible for several outbreaks of typhoid fever in and around New York City.
Mary was a hardworking, taciturn, Irish immigrant who supported herself as a cook. She was well-respected in her field until it was discovered that she was a carrier of typhoid.She was confined at an island hospital for years out of concern for public safety, although she fiercely resisted.
If you've heard of Typhoid Mary, you might know that much. Bartoletti's research goes even deeper, teasing out details of Mary's background, her work history, and what became of her after her confinement. It's an interesting story about medicine, politics, and overreach.