1999 Exam 1

1. How and where did Mary Mallon die?
a) of typhoid fever in New York City
b) of consumption (tuberculosis) in debtor’s prison in Ireland
c) of complications following a stroke in New York City
d) of wounds received from an angry mob in a hospital in New York City where doctors refused to treat her, fearing contagion

2. What was Typhoid Mary’s ethnicity
a) English
b) Irish
c) Jewish
d) African-American
e) American born

3. How many people are thought to have died as a result of Typhoid Mary’s activities?
a) 3
b) 16
c) 47
d) 121
e) over 1,000

4. Typhoid fever is caused by
a) a virus
b) a bacterium
c) a parasitic worm
d) the bite of fleas
e) blood-blood contact

5. The causative agent of typhoid fever is a member of the genus
a) Salmonella
b) Vibrio
c) Treponema
d) Mycobacterium
e) Helicobacter

6. Typhoid Mary was actively spreading disease during the years
a) during the American Civil War
b) just before World War I
c) during the height of the Depression
d) just after World War II

7. Two of the great newspaper tycoons at the time of Typhoid Mary were
a) Winchell and Murrow
b) Zengerer and Franklin
c) Eisner and Katzenberg
d) Murdock and Sulzberger
e) Hearst and Pulitzer

8. Who was George Soper?
a) The man with whom Typhoid Mary sometimes lived
b) The judge who refused to release Typhoid Mary from quarantine
c) The health officer who ordered Typhoid Mary’s quarantine (the first time)
d) The civil engineer who tracked Typhoid Mary down
e) The owner of the house on Long Island that was rented by the family that contracted typhoid fever

9. At the end of the nineteenth century, many people still believed in the close connection between miasmas and disease. What is a miasma?
a) a poisonous vapor rising from rotting material and initiating disease in people
b) an imbalance between the body’s four humours
c) a deep sadness characterized by swooning and generally thought to refer to what we now know as “clinical depression”
d) an evil spirit carried on the night wind, especially a northeast wind.
e) a microorganism

10. Who was president of the USA when Typhoid Mary was first discovered and quarantined?
a) James Buchanan
b) Theodore Roosevelt
c) Woodrow Wilson
d) Calvin Coolidge
e) Franklin Roosevelt

11. The probability of death for those who contracted typhoid fever in pre-antibiotic America was about
a) 1%
b) 10%
c) 50%
d) 90%
e) 99.9%

12. The surgical alternative offered to Typhoid Mary was removal of her
a) large intestine and lower bowel
b) small intestine
c) spleen
d) gall bladder
e) liver

13. The whole tragic story of Typhoid Mary took place in
a) Boston
b) New York City
c) Chicago
d) Cleveland
e) San Francisco

14. The germ that causes typhoid fever can enter (and remain) in a carrier state because
a) some people are genetically unable to make the antibody that recognizes it
b) it lodges in tissues that are not supplied with blood or lymph
c) it hides inside cells in special vesicles
d) it is a “slow virus”
e) it can cross the blood-brain barrier

15. We know surprisingly little about the germ that causes typhoid fever because
a) it is hard to grow it in pure culture
b) typhoid fever is not a very prevalent disease any more, hence funding for study is low
c) it can grow only inside of cells (in vesicles)
d) it does not cause typhoid fever in any animal other than humans
e) the disease it causes is over so quickly

16. The recommended medical treatment for the gastroenteritis caused by common Salmonella is
a) antibiotic therapy
b) quarantine until the feces is free of Salmonella for at least three consecutive months
c) removal of the gall bladder or liver
d) laxatives
e) no treatment at all

17. Stomach ulcers are caused most often by
a) Salmonella typhi
b) Salmonella enterica
c) Helicobacter pylori
d) stress and spicy foods
e) environmental carcinogens

18. Which of the following is NOT typical of typhoid fever
a) skin rash on the abdomen and torso
b) fever persisting up to several weeks
c) decreased number of white blood cells
d) persistent cough as the lungs fill with fluid
e) enlarged spleen and distended abdomen

19. In 1925, health department officials thought female carriers of typhoid fever were more dangerous than male carriers because
a) 100% of the known carriers were female
b) women did most of the cooking in families and as servants
c) women had just gained the right to vote
d) women were biologically more susceptible to infections
e) social norms generally required a higher degree of cleanliness for men than for women

20. In the 1909 court hearing, Typhoid Mary’s lawyer tried to have her released by challenging
a) the unfair treatment of Irish-Americans
b) her imprisonment without a trial
c) the credibility of the health department of New York City
d) the definition of healthy carriers as “sick” under the law
e) the prejudicial representation of her story in the tabloid press

21. Four of these names refer to the same person, which one does not fit?
a) Mary Ilverson
b) Mrs. Brown
c) Typhoid Mary
d) Mary Mallon
e) Josephine Baker

22. During Mary Mallon’s lifetime, the number of deaths from typhoid fever (per 100,000 population) declined dramatically. This correlated strongly with
a) the provision of filtered water to cities
b) the discovery and widespread use of antibiotics
c) the discovery of the concept of “healthy carriers”
d) the decline in immigration from Europe and especially Ireland
e) the widespread acceptance of tobacco use by the lower classes

23. In the present day, standard antibiotic therapy
a) is effective against the active form of typhoid fever, but not the carrier state
b) is effective against the carrier state of typhoid fever, but not the active form
c) is effective against both the active form and the carrier state of typhoid fever
d) is effective against neither the active form nor the carrier state of typhoid fever
e) is almost always effective against the active form of typhoid fever, but only very rarely against the carrier state

24. The health department wanted samples to test for the presence of the typhoid fever germ. Which of these did they NOT request
a) feces
b) urine
c) blood
d) sputum

25. Which of these occurred during the years that Mary Mallon was cooking and spreading typhoid fever
a) The Irish potato famine sent another million or more immigrants to the US
b) The English army brutally suppressed the “Easter rebellion” in Ireland, sending another million immigrants to the US
c) Walter Reed “conquered” yellow fever in Cuba and William Gorgas was doing the same in Panama
d) Penicillin was discovered and was slowly gaining acceptance as an effective therapy for the treatment of bacterial diseases
e) John Snow proved that cholera was transmitted by drinking water, thus proving that at least one bacterial disease has a fecal-oral route of transmission