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A crucial factor in our survival: bacteria — friend or foe

September 28, 2013
By C. Paul Martin, M.D. , Marshall Independent

This week marked the birthday of Mary Mallon (1869-1938), an Irish cook best remembered as the vector in several outbreaks of typhoid fever in 19th century New York and Long Island. Her ability to spread the source of typhoid fever through her domestic employment showed public health and medical officials the importance of screening individuals involved in food preparation to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Fifty-three or more unsuspecting victims died related to her temporary presence in their lives. Such may be our ultimate fate unless we realize the importance of infections in our modern society, a fact presaged and vividly depicted in a fictional work written during Mary's life here in America.

 
 

 

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