Typhoid victims locked up for life in mental institution (UK: mid-20th century)





More than 40 women typhoid sufferers were locked up for life in a mental asylum to prevent them spreading the disease, according to newly-found records.

The patients, all women, were taken to Long Grove in Epsom, Surrey, between 1907 and its closure in 1992.

Although they were sane when admitted many went mad as a result of their incarceration, nursing staff said.

Virtually all had recovered from typhoid but were still considered a public health risk because they continued to excrete the bacterium.

Most of the institution's archives were destroyed after it closed but researchers at the Surrey County Council History Centre in Woking found two volumes of records in the derelict building.

They showed that least 43 women were admitted, all from the London area. An average of three were admitted each year between 1944 and 1957.

Even after the advent of antibiotic treatments in the 1950s the women were detained for the rest of their lives because of their mental health.


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