Tag Archives: Typhoid Mary

Typhoid Mary in San Francisco

Typhoid fever is not a modern disease, except in developing countries with sanitation problems, particularly Africa. Now it’s come to San Francisco, via a new Typhoid Mary (or Matthew) who infected an unknown number of cafe patrons for five days starting on April 16. The original Mary was a cook.

Historically, typhoid fever has stricken armies whose commanders have lost control of their sanitation, a detail I used to dramatic effect in my Viet Nam war novel The Butterfly Rose. The bacterial disease is transmitted by food and water contaminated by the feces of a victim and can be fatal if patients don’t take all of their antibiotic even after they feel better. There’ve been vaccines to protect against it since World War II but, of course, vaccination is controversial among the enlightened of places like San Francisco.

Via Instapundit

Sick abed

Fighting off a virus of some kind, mainly by sleeping the day away. It comes with a cough and some sinus trouble. I expect I got it from Mr. B. He has coughed for a week or more, often in my face. Like other things he can’t always remember, he can’t always remember to cover his mouth. He and his chums are little Typhoid Martins, carrying the germs of their hundreds of peers from school and the playground. Their immune systems could fight off the plague. Mine can’t vanquish the common cold.