The Lifetime Imprisonment of Typhoid Mary for the Spread of Disease Via Food Preparation

Typhoid-Mary

Mary Mallon was an Irish cook who was imprisoned for life for not washing her hands properly prior to preparing food. Mallon, an immigrant often referred to as “Typhoid Mary” unknowingly spread typhoid as she did not see a need to wash her hands frequently. Everywhere Mallon worked, people got sick or died which eventually lead to her apprehension. In 1882, the German physician Robert Koch had published a paper proving that microorganisms transmit disease. This discovery gave birth to microbiology. In 1907, New York City, United States of America sanitary expert George Soper had tracked the typhoid outbreak down to Mallon. Suspecting Mallon was immune to the disease but still a carrier, Soper pleaded with Mallon to be tested, however Mallon refused, and angrily chasing Soper off with a dining fork. After being visited by the health board of New York City, Mallon found herself under quarantine where she remained for 3 years until she swore an affidavit to never work as a cook again. 5 years afterwards, another outbreak of typhoid occurred, this time traced back to Mary Brown, however Brown was Mallon working under an assumed identity. Mallon was quarantined once again, never being let out and dying from pneumonia while imprisoned

The Bubonic Plague

Black-Plague

The Bubonic Plague killed off approximately 66% of Europe during the 1350’s with the exception of Milan, Italy and Kraków, Poland. This was due to the people of Milan understanding that quarantining the city was a necessary requirement to help aide in the cessation of disease proliferation. Quarantining was performed despite physicians not properly and/or fully understanding the mechanics of viral and bacterial infection. The citizens of Milan also burned down the home of any person or family suspected of having recently contracted the Black Plague. Kraków was a prominent refuge for people of Jewish descent, as Jewish people were used as scapegoats as to the reason why the Black Plague occurred in Europe in the first place. Due to the fact that Jews frequently bathed as it was not in conflict with their religious beliefs, unlike most others in Europe, the Black Plague was barred from having as great of an effect as it did across the rest of Europe. Milan and Kraków were left virtually unscathed with most of their populations surviving the catastrophic epidemic