The title “Typhoid Mary” entered the cultural lexicon in 1908 via the Journal of the American Medical Association. Today the name refers to anyone who knowingly or accidentally spreads a disease to others. But “Typhoid Mary” originally referred to a specific person: Mary Mallon.
Mallon was born in Ireland and in the early 1880s migrated to America, where she embarked on a career as a cook for well-to-do families in New York City. She was good at her job and had no trouble finding work. Yet, strangely, medical authorities noticed something peculiar about her: wherever she worked, members of the household came down with typhoid fever — and some died. Mallon herself was completely asymptomatic and resisted the idea that the illnesses and deaths were connected to her.
Eventually, Mallon was investigated and quarantined in isolation for three years at a New York clinic where she was forced to undergo medical testing. Upon her release, she agreed to stop working as a cook and to take extreme cautions to prevent infecting others. But the same pattern developed when she found employment as a laundress; she was arrested and quarantined again in 1915. She died under quarantine some twenty-three years later.
Read more at What we can learn from those quarantined in the past.
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point‘s 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than fifty books.