Typhoid Mary - Days As A Cook

Days As A Cook

Mary Mallon was born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) in the United Kingdom. She emigrated to the United States in 1884. From 1900 to 1907 she worked as a cook in the New York City area.

In 1900, Mary worked in Mamaroneck, New York, where, within two weeks of her employment, the residents developed typhoid fever. She moved to Manhattan in 1901, and members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea and the laundress died. Mallon then went to work for a lawyer until seven of the eight household members developed typhoid.

In 1906, she took a position in Oyster Bay, Long Island, where, within two weeks, ten of eleven family members were hospitalized with typhoid. She changed employment again, and similar occurrences happened in three more households.

In Oyster Bay, she worked as a cook for a wealthy New York banker, Charles Henry Warren, and his family. When the Warrens rented a house in Oyster Bay for the summer of 1906, Mallon came along. From August 27 to September 3, six of the eleven people in the house came down with typhoid fever. Typhoid fever in Oyster Bay at that time was "unusual," according to three doctors who practiced medicine there.

Mary was subsequently hired by other families, and outbreaks followed her.

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