Things You May Not Know About Typhoid Mary

Ashley | 11 - 09 - 2023
Things You May Not Know About Typhoid Mary

Have you heard the story of Typhoid Mary? If not, then you are at the right post.

Typhoid Mary is a healthy woman who has become more popular by spreading the disease wherever she goes. Thinking of what happened to her? 

Continue reading the post to explore some things you didn’t know and also the Typhoid Mary facts. 

What was the nickname of Mary Mallon?
  • A. Typhoid Mary
  • B. Infectious Irene
  • C. Feverish Fiona
  • D. Sickly Sarah

Lesser-Known Typhoid Mary Facts

Lesser-Known Typhoid Mary Facts

Typhoid Mary: A Short Biography

Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869–November 11, 1938) is also known as Typhoid Mary. She was a single woman who came from a town called Cookstown, Ireland to America in 1884 to do household chores and had a chance to cook for rich families. 

Why Does She Deserve This Name? – Reason Might Shock You!

She was the first person in the United States to infect myriad people with typhoid fever through her cooking unknowingly. However, Mary herself did not experience any signs or illnesses related to that disease, which made it difficult to identify the source of outbreaks.

Impact Caused by Her Disease

The report suggested that she infected at least 51 people, of whom 3 died as a result of this disease. She was isolated forcibly for quarantine purposes by the health authorities twice in her life. She spent a total of 26 years in isolation, most of which was spent on North Brother Island in New York in 1907 and again in 1915. She was not released in the year 1915, and later she died at the age of 69 in the year 1938. This was an unfair measure taken by the health department to prevent the disease from spreading further. However, she fought hard for her freedom from quarantine by the New York City Health Department.

Also, read more about Quarantine

Why Did Typhoid Mary Not Get Sick? How Did She Spread the Disease?

It has been found that Mary carried the bacteria that spread typhoid but didn’t show any outward symptoms. As David Schneider, an immunologist at Stanford University, said, “Typhoid Mary was a very tolerant host who unfortunately also shed tons of pathogens.” Due to her lack of symptoms, she kept working as a cook for various wealthy families and served the popular dessert “peach ice cream” with her unsanitized hands. This is the reason that sparked the outbreak of typhoid fever.

Who Found Out that Mary Was Responsible for the Outbreak?

An investigator named George Soper, hired by the Warren family and also one of the victims of typhoid fever, found out that Mary Mallon was the asymptomatic carrier of the typhoid bacterium. He easily found that Mary was the one who was responsible for the pandemic outbreak.

Impact on Public Health

The case of Typhoid Mary has a significant impact on public health. Her story is one of the best examples that highlighted the importance of identifying and tracking the carriers of infectious diseases, even if there are no symptoms. This impact led to the development of protocols and guidelines to deal with asymptomatic carriers, which are still followed today.


Hence, Typhoid Mary’s story is a complicated one in world history. The case of Typhoid Mary led to a notable impact on public health. Hence, known facts about Typhoid Mary help us know the significance of the disease control and prevention measures.

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