Talk:Typhoid Mary

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Number of deaths caused doesn't add up[edit]

The lead section says "three of whom died from the disease."

"Cook" section mentions two deaths in 1900-1907 "Quarantine" section claims two deaths in 1915 So the total should be four.

However this Straight Dope article claims that she caused "at least a dozen" deaths. --Hamster128 11:11, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I also noticed number of infected people does not add up. I came to this page from the infectious disease page and it mentions her with a different sum as well. DeniabilityPlausible 15:31, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

The Straight Dope article also answers the question of why the death count is not consistent: "Exactly how many people she infected or killed will never be known. She refused to cooperate with health authorities, withheld information about her past, and used different pseudonyms when she changed cities. Three deaths have been definitely attributed to her, with estimates running as high as 50." It's just hard to tell... --Jaysweet 15:35, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

All the same wikipedia should be consistent. See Infectious disease, which cites a different number of people infected. If it's not certain, as what you have all said seems to indicate, then don't give a number. I am a lemon 23:20, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Many printed articles say 3 deaths. Morgan22345 20:05, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I noticed this too...it happened 100 years ago. There's no telling how many people died after being exposed to her. They may have died before being diagnosed and just got written off as the flu or pnuemonia or something. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.142.130.30 (talk) 20:02, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

"Typhoid Bun"[edit]

Removed from the article:

Still living in Cookstown, Northern Ireland today, are her descendants who currently run a successful catering business. Typhoid Mary's legacy lives on in the family business, with their appropriately named 'Typhoid Bun', which to this day is still a hit among the locals.

I can't verify it via the 'net, and I strongly suspect a hoax. (Did she even have children/descendants?) Needs a citation. 70.20.211.100 (talk) 22:36, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

nationality[edit]

How come she was born in Ireland but her nationality is from United States? Did she take American citizenship? -Dexter_prog (talk contribs count) @ 21:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Back in those days, the notion of citizenship was not as clearly established as it is nowadays. Any immigrant was basically granted citizenship. Anyway, most immigrants were poor and once they settled down, they would never travel out of the country again. They had no use for passports. Moreover, the notion of "passport" was not associated with citizenship. Passports were first exchanged between French and American dignitaries (through the impulse of Ben Franklin, among others). There existed a process of naturalization, but it was seldom used by the poor people. Basically, you were a citizen of the place where you lived. Citizenship was a very murky notion until rather recently. It seems almost unimaginable today, but 100 years ago, humans were almost 100% free to move around the world and settle wherever they pleased, as long as they were accepted by the locals living there. To today's standards, Typhoid Mary was an Irish citizen by birth (although she almost certainly had no legal means to demonstrate it) and she became an American citizen upon setting foot in New York. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.72.92.4 (talk) 12:13, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
If she were not a Citizen of the United States, she would surely had been deported, long ago, presumably as an "undesirable alien". 213.249.172.68 (talk) 09:29, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Mallon was born and lived in Cookstown when the whole of Ireland was still part of Great Britain (Cookstown is still part of Britain and not in the Republic of Ireland) so she would have entered America as a British citizen. The notion of a legal Irish citizenship did not exist until 1922 when the Republic of Ireland was created (a few years before Mallon's death). Vauxhall1964 (talk) 23:37, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Cookstown was, and is, in "the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland)", but not, and never, in "(Great) Britain". In those days, before the years 1948 and 1949, with the British Nationality Act 1948, 11 & 12 Geo. 6 c. 56, there were no "British citizens", only "British subjects". Mallon could not had been an Irish subject of the old as the Kingdom of Ireland was dissolved back in the years 1800 and 1801. It was however theoretically possible that Mallon had elected to become an Irish citizen (a citizen of the then Irish Free State/Southern Ireland), even if Cookstown remained, and remains, part of the United Kingdom, as Irish law allowed, and allows, for this, in addition to her citizenship of the United States, but it was unlikely, given that Mallon was presumably prevented from leaving her island quarantine in order to register herself with the Irish Consulate or Mission in the City and State of New York, much less a return journey to her native island of Ireland. 213.249.172.68 (talk) 09:03, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Death count after first quarantaine?[edit]

The German article about her says there were two deaths, the English says it's one. I don't know which is correct. -- RichiH (talk) 15:56, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Article Title[edit]

This article should be moved to Typhoid Mary, and Mary Mallon should be redirected there. Typhoid Mary is a far more recognized name, and should be the title, according to wikipedia guidelines. After all, the article on John Wayne is titled John Wayne, not Marion Robert Morrison.The Onion 22:26, 19 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pisharov (talkcontribs)

I agree, Wikipedia has a policy on naming articles based on most known name, not on particular cases or "official" names, if I'm not mistaken. --Anime Addict AA (talk) 15:35, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I actually came here to suggest moving the article to Mary Mallon. Unlike most of the reasons we change people's names for article titles - there is a more recognizable common form (e.g. Bill Clinton rather than William Jefferson Clinton), or they use a stage or performance name (e.g. John Wayne rather than Marion Morrison), this woman has a biographical article that isn't even titled with a person's name, just a common press label, one that the subject would object very strongly to, were she alive. With a read-through of WP:TITLE, I can find no convincing reason that this shouldn't be shifted back to Mary Mallon, with a redirect from Typhoid Mary. To compare with a more recent example, the article about the woman famous for having octuplets is found under Nadya Suleman, not Octomom. Ford MF (talk) 12:00, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree. This article is a biography about Mary Mallon and should be titled as such. We should also have an article about the expression "Typhoid Mary", its definition, its origins, and its use in speech. Rklawton (talk) 15:52, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Background[edit]

The background section reports about typhoid fever and precautions and does not have any details on Mary's life. This needs to be changed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.143.195.138 (talk) 07:46, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Inconsistent numbers[edit]

The introductory paragraph says, "She was presumed to have infected some 51 people."

The body of the article says:

  • the residents developed typhoid fever. (at least two)
  • members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea and the laundress died. (at least three, assuming that the laundress was not one of the "members of the family")
  • seven of the eight household members developed typhoid. (seven)
  • ten of eleven family members were hospitalized with typhoid. (ten)
  • similar occurrences happened in three more households. (at least three)
  • six of the eleven people in the house came down with typhoid fever. (six)
  • Mary was subsequently hired by other families, and outbreaks followed her. (at least two)
  • and in 1915 was believed to have infected 25 people, resulting in one death (25)

If all the claims (and some are unsourced) are true, then the smallest number of infected people possible would be 58. And that's assuming that "three more households" means just one person in each household, and that "outbreaks followed her" means just two outbreaks with just one person (which kind of contradicts the meaning of "outbreak") in each. Girlwithgreeneyes (talk) 08:47, 25 July 2012 (UTC) (post modified slightly 09:59, 29 July 2012 (UTC) )


Quarantine vs Isolation[edit]

There is a difference in the two, Quarantine isolates healthy people to see if they get sick, Isolation isolates sick people to prevent them from infecting healthy people. When I get a chance later today hopefully I will correct references to the two in the article.

Fjf1085 (talk) 16:05, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Right, and she appeared healthy, so it seems "quarantine" would be appropriate in the earlier periods of detainment. Once it was realized she was a carrier, she was "isolated" until the end of life. Everything seems to be in order. - Boneyard90 (talk) 17:06, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Typhoid Mary's Birth Place is incorrectly displayed on the search result page by Google[edit]

Typhoid Mary's Birth Place is incorrectly displayed on the search result page by Google. I searched for Typhoid Mary and Google's result page shows a wiki entry on the up-right side showing her picture and the following text:

Mary Mallon

Cook

Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever.

Wikipedia

Born: September 23, 1869, New York <-------------- This is incorrect.

Died: November 11, 1938, New York

Hope someone can fix it. Thanks!

Kevin Y. 10-29-2014

Our article is correct (Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland) You'll have to take that up with Google. Rklawton (talk) 16:44, 30 October 2014 (UTC)