What made Mary Ingalls of 'Little House' fame blind? Not scarlet fever2/5/2013
If you're among the zillions of us obsessed with the "Little House" series, prepare to have your world rocked. The super-popular books and TV show were based on the experiences of author Laura Ingalls Wilder. In Laura's books, her sister Mary went blind after contracting scarlet fever, but she made no mention of that in her letters or memoir, wondering about a "spinal sickness" instead. Now a team of 'Little House'-loving medical researchers, led by Dr. Beth Tarini at the University of Michigan, is investigating. Tarini and others pored over old papers and letters written by Wilder, newspaper accounts of Mary's illness and epidemiological data on blindness and disease. Their findings? Mary's blindness was most likely caused by a brain infection called viral meningoencephalitis. [Source]
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