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BiffSplitkins

The real reason Mary Ingalls went blind

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If you watched "Little House on the Prairie," chances are you remember the story of Mary Ingalls.

The television show and popular book series drew on the real-life experiences of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mary, Laura's sister, went blind as a teenager after contracting scarlet fever, according to the story. Now a team of medical researchers are raising questions about whether that's true.

Dr. Beth Tarini, one of the co-authors of the paper, became intrigued by the question as a medical student.

"I was in my pediatrics rotation. We were talking about scarlet fever, and I said, 'Oh, scarlet fever makes you go blind. Mary Ingalls went blind from it,'" recalls Tarini, who is now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan. My supervisor said, "I don't think so."

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Pretty interesting.

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pfft @ supervisor. I believe Laura!

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I think it's quite interesting what you can learn about past diseases or other medical maladies with today's knowledge.

I read a lot of historical fiction and will often look up symptoms described if a character falls ill and try to figure out what they died of in truth.

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Interesting. Meningitis seems to be a much more common issue then people have been brought up to believe.

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