Mallon in isolation
|Died||November 11, 1938 69) (aged|
|Resting place||Saint Raymond's Cemetery|
|Nationality||British subject by birth; American citizen by naturalization after immigration; Assumed Irish post-1921|
|Other names||Mary Brown|
|Known for||Asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever|
Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938), also known as Typhoid Mary, was an Irish-American cook. She was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.
Irish Americans are an ethnic group comprising Americans who have full or partial ancestry from Ireland, especially those who identify with that ancestry, along with their cultural characteristics. About 33 million Americans — 10.5% of the total population — reported Irish ancestry in the 2013 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. This compares with a population of 6.7 million on the island of Ireland. Three million people separately identified as Scotch-Irish, whose ancestors were Ulster Scots and Anglo-Irish Protestant Dissenters who emigrated from Ireland to the United States. However, whether the Scotch-Irish should be considered Irish is disputed.
An asymptomatic carrier is a person or other organism that has become infected with a pathogen, but who display no signs nor symptoms.
Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid, is a bacterial infection due to Salmonella typhi that causes symptoms. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and usually begin six to thirty days after exposure. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several days; weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, and mild vomiting also commonly occur. Some people develop a skin rash with rose colored spots. In severe cases there may be confusion. Without treatment, symptoms may last weeks or months. Diarrhea is uncommon. Other people may carry the bacterium without being affected; however, they are still able to spread the disease to others. Typhoid fever is a type of enteric fever, along with paratyphoid fever.
Mary Mallon was born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, in what is now Northern Ireland. She migrated to the United States in 1883 or 1884.She lived with her aunt and uncle for a time and later found work as a cook for affluent families.
Cookstown is a town and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the fourth largest town in the county and had a population of 22,838 in the 2011 census. It is one of the main towns in the area of Mid-Ulster. It was founded around 1620 when the townlands in the area were leased by an English ecclesiastical lawyer, Dr. Alan Cooke, from the Archbishop of Armagh, who had been granted the lands after the Flight of the Earls during the Plantation of Ulster. It was one of the main centres of the linen industry West of the River Bann, and until 1956, the processes of flax spinning, weaving, bleaching and beetling were carried out in the town.
County Tyrone is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".
From 1900 to 1907, Mallon worked as a cook in the New York City area for seven families.In 1900, she worked in Mamaroneck, New York, where, within two weeks of her employment, residents developed typhoid fever. In 1901, she moved to Manhattan, where members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea, and the laundress died. Mallon then went to work for a lawyer and left after seven of the eight people in that household became ill.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Diarrhea is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behaviour. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are exclusively breastfed, however, are normal.
In 1906, Mary took a position in Oyster Bay, Long Island, and within two weeks 10 of the 11 family members were hospitalized with typhoid. She changed jobs again, and similar occurrences happened in three more households. [ citation needed ] Mallon was subsequently hired by other families, and outbreaks followed her.She worked as a cook for the family of a wealthy New York banker, Charles Henry Warren. When the Warrens rented a house in Oyster Bay for the summer of 1906, Mallon went along, too. From August 27 to September 3, six of the 11 people in the family came down with typhoid fever. The disease at that time was "unusual" in Oyster Bay, according to three medical doctors who practiced there.
A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.
The Town of Oyster Bay is the easternmost of the three towns which make up Nassau County, New York, in the United States. Part of the New York metropolitan area, it is the only town in Nassau County to extend from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 293,214.
In late 1906, one family hired a typhoid researcher named George Soper to investigate. Soper published the results on June 15, 1907, in the Journal of the American Medical Association . He believed Mallon might be the source of the outbreak.He wrote:
George A. Soper was a sanitation engineer. He was best known for discovering Mary Mallon, or Typhoid Mary, a carrier of Typhoid who had no symptoms.
It was found that the family changed cooks in August 4. This was about three weeks before the typhoid epidemic broke out. The new cook, Mallon, remained in the family only a short time, and left about three weeks after the outbreak occurred. Mallon was described as an Irish woman about 40 years of age, tall, heavy, single. She seemed to be in perfect health.
Soper discovered that a female Irish cook, who fitted the physical description he was given, was involved in all of the outbreaks. He was unable to locate her because she generally left after an outbreak began, without giving a forwarding address. Soper learned of an active outbreak in a penthouse on Park Avenue and discovered Mallon was the cook. Two of the household's servants were hospitalized, and the daughter of the family died of typhoid.
When Soper approached Mallon about her possible role in spreading typhoid, she adamantly rejected his request for urine and stool samples.Since Mallon refused to give samples, he decided to compile a five-year history of Mallon's employment. Soper found that of the eight families that hired Mallon as a cook, members of seven claimed to have contracted typhoid fever. On his next visit, he brought another doctor with him but again was turned away. During a later encounter when Mallon was herself hospitalized, he told her he would write a book and give her all the royalties. She angrily rejected his proposal and locked herself in the bathroom until he left.
The New York City Health Department finally sent physician Sara Josephine Baker to talk to Mallon. Baker stated "by that time she was convinced that the law was only persecuting her when she had done nothing wrong." A few days later, Baker arrived at Mallon's workplace with several police officers, who took her into custody.[ citation needed ]
Mallon attracted so much media attention that she was called "Typhoid Mary" in a 1908 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association . Later, in a textbook that defined typhoid fever, she was again called "Typhoid Mary".
Mallon admitted she did not understand the purpose of hand-washing because she did not pose a risk.[ citation needed ] In prison, she was forced to give stool and urine samples. Authorities suggested removing her gallbladder because they believed typhoid bacteria resided there. However, she refused as she did not believe she carried the disease. She was also unwilling to cease working as a cook.
The New York City Health Inspector determined she was a carrier. Under sections 1169 and 1170 of the Greater New York Charter, Mallon was held in isolation for three years at a clinic located on North Brother Island.
Eventually, Eugene H. Porter, the New York State Commissioner of Health, decided that disease carriers should no longer be kept in isolation and that Mallon could be freed if she agreed to stop working as a cook and take reasonable steps to prevent transmitting typhoid to others. On February 19, 1910, Mallon agreed that she was "prepared to change her occupation (that of a cook), and would give assurance by affidavit that she would upon her release take such hygienic precautions as would protect those with whom she came in contact, from infection." She was released from quarantine and returned to the mainland.
Upon her release, Mallon was given a job as a laundress, which paid less than cooking. After several unsuccessful years of working as a laundress, she changed her name to Mary Brown and returned to her former occupation despite having been explicitly instructed not to. For the next five years, she worked in a number of kitchens; wherever she worked, there were outbreaks of typhoid. However, she changed jobs frequently, and Soper was unable to find her.
In 1915, Mallon started another major outbreak, this time at Sloane Hospital for Women in New York City. 25 people were infected, and two died. She again left, but the police were able to find and arrest her when she brought food to a friend on Long Island.After arresting her, public health authorities returned her to quarantine on North Brother Island on March 27, 1915. She was still unwilling to have her gallbladder removed.
Mallon remained confined for the remainder of her life. She became a minor celebrity and was occasionally interviewed by the media. They were told not to accept even water from her.Later, she was allowed to work as a technician in the island's laboratory, washing bottles.
Mallon spent the rest of her life in quarantine at the Riverside Hospital. Six years before her death, she was paralyzed by a stroke. On November 11, 1938, she died of pneumonia at age 69.A post-mortem found evidence of live typhoid bacteria in her gallbladder. Other researchers have cited George Soper who wrote, "There was no autopsy" to assert a conspiracy to calm public opinion after her death. Mallon's body was cremated, and her ashes were buried at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.
Among the infections Mallon caused, at least three deaths were attributed to her; however, because of her use of aliases and refusal to cooperate, the exact number is not known. Some have estimated that she may have caused 50 fatalities.
Mallon was the first asymptomatic typhoid carrier to be identified by medical science, and there was no policy providing guidelines for handling the situation. Some difficulties surrounding her case stemmed from Mallon's vehement denial of her possible role, as she refused to acknowledge any connection between her working as a cook and the typhoid cases. Mallon maintained that she was perfectly healthy, had never had typhoid fever, and could not be the source. Public-health authorities determined that permanent quarantine was the only way to prevent Mallon from causing significant future typhoid outbreaks.
Other healthy typhoid carriers identified in the first quarter of the 20th century include Tony Labella, an Italian immigrant, presumed to have caused over 100 cases (with five deaths); an Adirondack guide dubbed "Typhoid John", presumed to have infected 36 people (with two deaths); and Alphonse Cotils, a restaurateur and bakery owner.
Today, "Typhoid Mary" is a colloquial term for anyone who, knowingly or not, spreads disease or some other undesirable thing.
Actress Elisabeth Moss is reported to be developing a TV miniseries in which "Typhoid Mary" is a central character, based on the 2013 novel Fever by Mary Beth Keane.
In August 2013, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine announced they were making breakthroughs in understanding the exact science behind asymptomatic carriers such as Mallon. The bacteria that cause typhoid may hide in macrophages, a type of immune cell.
Individuals can develop typhoid fever after ingesting food or water contaminated during handling by a human carrier. The human carrier may be a healthy person who has survived a previous episode of typhoid fever yet continues to shed the associated bacteria, Salmonella typhi , in feces and urine. Washing hands with soap before touching or preparing food, washing dishes and utensils with soap and water, and only eating cooked food are all ways to reduce the risk of typhoid infection.
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. Dehydration can cause the skin to turn bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms. When symptoms occur they typically include fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and muscle pains. Less commonly there may be bleeding from the mouth or gastrointestinal tract. The risk of death once infected is about one percent and frequently occurs within two weeks of the onset of symptoms. Among those who survive about a quarter have hearing loss, which improves over time in about half.
A quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of people; it is 'a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests,' for a certain period of time. This is often used in connection to disease and illness, such as those who may possibly have been exposed to a communicable disease, but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis. The term is often erroneously used to mean medical isolation, which is "to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy," and refers to patients whose diagnosis has been confirmed.
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters. The causative organism is Rickettsia prowazekii, transmitted by the human body louse.
Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder. Symptoms include right upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and occasionally fever. Often gallbladder attacks precede acute cholecystitis. The pain lasts longer in cholecystitis than in a typical gallbladder attack. Without appropriate treatment, recurrent episodes of cholecystitis are common. Complications of acute cholecystitis include gallstone pancreatitis, common bile duct stones, or inflammation of the common bile duct.
Leptospirosis is an infection caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira. Signs and symptoms can range from none to mild such as headaches, muscle pains, and fevers; to severe with bleeding from the lungs or meningitis. If the infection causes the person to turn yellow, have kidney failure and bleeding, it is then known as Weil's disease. If it also causes bleeding into the lungs then it is known as severe pulmonary hemorrhage syndrome.
Paratyphoid fever, also known simply as paratyphoid, is a bacterial infection caused by one of the three types of Salmonella enterica. Symptoms usually begin 6–30 days after exposure and are the same as those of typhoid fever. Often, a gradual onset of a high fever occurs over several days. Weakness, loss of appetite, and headaches also commonly occur. Some people develop a skin rash with rose-colored spots. Without treatment, symptoms may last weeks or months. Other people may carry the bacteria without being affected; however, they are still able to spread the disease to others. Both typhoid and paratyphoid are of similar severity. Paratyphoid and typhoid fever are types of enteric fever.
Sara Josephine Baker was an American physician notable for making contributions to public health, especially in the immigrant communities of New York City. Her fight against the damage that widespread urban poverty and ignorance caused to children, especially newborns, is perhaps her most lasting legacy. In 1917, she noted that babies born in the United States faced a higher mortality rate than soldiers fighting in World War I, drawing a great deal of attention to her cause. She also is known for (twice) tracking down Mary Mallon, the infamous index case known as Typhoid Mary.
Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Occasionally, the swollen lymph nodes may break open.
Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus and murine typhus. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and a rash. Typically these begin one to two weeks after exposure.
A super-spreader is a host—an organism infected with a disease—that infects, disproportionately, more secondary contacts than other hosts who are, also, infected with the same disease. A sick human can be a super-spreader; they would be more likely to infect others than most people with the disease. Super-spreaders are thus of high concern in epidemiology.
Legionnaires' disease, also known as legionellosis, is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by any type of Legionella bacteria. Signs and symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains, and headaches. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. This often begins 2–10 days after exposure.
John S Marr is an American physician, epidemiologist, and author. His professional life has concerned outbreaks of infectious disease and thus his subsequent writing career has focused on that topic, particularly historical epidemics.
Ebola virus disease in Mali occurred in October 2014, leading to concern about the possibility of an outbreak of Ebola in Mali. A child was brought from Guinea and died in the northwestern city of Kayes. Mali contact traced over 100 people who had contact with the child; tracing was completed in mid-November with no further cases discovered. In November, a second unrelated outbreak occurred in Mali's capital city, Bamako. Several people at a clinic are thought to have been infected by a man traveling from Guinea. On January 18 Mali was declared Ebola-free after 42 days with no new cases. There had been a cumulative total of eight cases with six deaths.
Intestinal infectious diseases include a large number of infections of the bowels including: cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, other types of salmonella infections, shigellosis, botulism, gastroenteritis, and amoebiasis among others.
This is a Timeline of typhoid fever, describing major events such as scientific/medical developments and notable epidemics.
The 2017 Uganda Marburg virus outbreak was confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 20 October 2017 after there had been an initial fatality due to the virus.
Between 1545–1548 A.D., a mysterious illness, which was characterized by high fevers and bleeding, ravaged the Mexican highlands in epidemic proportions. The disease became known as Cocoliztli by the native Aztecs, and had devastating effects on the area’s demography, particularly for the indigenous people. Based on the death toll, this outbreak is often referred to as the worst disease epidemic in the history of Mexico Subsequent outbreaks continued to baffle both Spanish and native doctors, with little consensus among modern researchers on the pathogenesis. However, recent bacterial genomic studies have suggested that Salmonella, specifically a serotype of Salmonella enterica known as Paratyphi C, was at least partially responsible for this initial outbreak.
Mary Mallon, the first carrier of typhoid bacilli identified in America and consequently known as Typhoid Mary, died yesterday in Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island.
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