February 4th, 2013
10:47 AM ET
The real reason Mary Ingalls went blind
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."
Tarini started doing research. Over the course of 10 years, she and her team of researchers, pored over old papers and letters written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, local newspaper accounts of Mary's illness and epidemiological data on blindness and infectious disease in the late 19th century. What they found was intriguing.
Digging deeper, when researchers looked at epidemiological data from the time, they saw that most cases of blindness attributed to scarlet fever were temporary. In addition, newspaper accounts of Mary's illness report "severe headaches" and one side of her face being partially paralyzed.
Finally, and perhaps the most important piece of evidence, in a letter Wilder wrote to her daughter, Rose, right before her book "By the Shores of Silver Lake" was published, she makes reference "some sort of spinal sickness". The letter also mentions that Mary saw a specialist in Chicago who said "the nerves of her eyes were paralyzed and there was no hope."
Diagnosis by these disease detectives: viral meningoencephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain and the meninges, the membrane that covers the brain. In severe cases, it can cause inflammation of the optic nerve that can result in a slow and progressive loss of sight.
It may not be the biggest bombshell to hit the medical world, but to "Little House" fans, the question remains: why did Wilder change her sister's illness to scarlet fever? The study authors believe it could be because Wilder and her editors thought scarlet fever would be more relatable to her readers. Scarlet fever is mentioned in other books from the period, including "Little Women" and "Frankenstein."
But there is also an important wider medical lesson we can learn from this research. Today, about 10% of people infected with strep get scarlet fever, says Tarini. It is easily treatable. But because the cultural reference to scarlet fever is so ingrained in our culture, people assume it is very dangerous. "People read as children that scarlet fever makes you go blind," says Tarini. "Parents look concerned ... so I have to debunk it in the office."
The study was published Monday in this week's edition of the journal Pediatrics.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Dab Pads & Silicone Matsfab eggDiamond Glass 18mm 45 Degree Showerhead Perc Ash CatcherThis is because the ash catcher would make your piece top-heavy, increasing the likelihood of an accident and breakage. On the contrary, massive bongs are usually paired with large ash catchers to keep the aesthetic consistent.
Dab Pads & Silicone Matscool one hitter14mm 45 Degree Tree Perc Ash CatcherThe Medicali Ash Catcher with Showerhead Perc has a colored showerhead percolator and is available to order in a selection of colors. Please select your favorite color from the available option in the drop-down thực đơn when you place your order. Please note that you can select the color of the showerhead percolator, it is not possible to select the color or style of the logo. The logos come in a wide variety of colors and styles, you will receive one at random, depending on availability.
Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!
Dab Padbaby bottle rigDiamond Glass 18mm 45 Degree Showerhead Perc Ash CatcherThe bag is held closed by strong velcro as well as a rubber lined zipper that keeps smells locked inside. The inside has two roomy mesh pockets with enough space for your stash as well as a lighter, a hand pipe, and even a snack. The inside of the pouch also has 100 carbon lining, making the smell-proof security even stronger.
Hey there! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you have here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.
You should be a part of a contest for one of the finest websites on the web. I will recommend this blog!
Dab Padwater bong for sale14mm 45 Degree Showerhead Ash Catcher By DiamondThe Medicali Ash Catcher with Showerhead Perc has a colored showerhead percolator and is available to order in a selection of colors. Please select your favorite color from the available option in the drop-down menu when you place your order. Please note that you can select the color of the showerhead percolator, it is not possible to select the color or style of the logo. The logos come in a wide variety of colors and styles, you will receive one at random, depending on availability.
Dab Pads & Silicone Matsdab container45 Degree Joint Vs 90 Degree Joint Ash CatcherThe Medicali Ash Catcher with Showerhead Perc has a colored showerhead percolator and is available to order in a selection of colors. Please select your favorite color from the available option in the drop-down menu when you place your order. Please note that you can select the color of the showerhead percolator, it is not possible to select the color or style of the logo. The logos come in a wide variety of colors and styles, you will receive one at random, depending on availability.
Bong Coasters & Bong Padswater pipes for sale14mm 45 Degree Tree Perc Ash CatcherThis is because the ash catcher would make your piece top-heavy, increasing the likelihood of an accident and breakage. On the contrary, massive bongs are usually paired with large ash catchers to keep the aesthetic consistent.
Bong Coasters & Bong Padsstereo matrix percDiamond Glass 18mm 45 Degree Showerhead Perc Ash CatcherThe Medicali Ash Catcher with Showerhead Perc has a colored showerhead percolator and is available to order in a selection of colors. Please select your favorite color from the available option in the drop-down thực đơn when you place your order. Please note that you can select the color of the showerhead percolator, it is not possible to select the color or style of the logo. The logos come in a wide variety of colors and styles, you will receive one at random, depending on availability.
what does hydroxychloroquine treat chloroquine phosphate generic name hydroxyquine medication
You are so cool! I do not believe I have read a single thing like this before. So great to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with a little originality!
Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am
waiting for your further post thanks once again.
Visit my blog ... look at this web-site
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your blog.
Howdy, There's no doubt that your site could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, fantastic website!
bookmarked!!, I love your website!
side effects of hydroxychloroquine 200 mg chloroquine hcl hydroxychloroquine 200 mg tablet
After I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!
A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should publish more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people do not talk about these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!
Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and don't manage to get anything done.
60 mg tadalafil tadalafil price walmart sx brands coupons
I'm pretty pleased to discover this site. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new information in your website.
bookmarked!!, I love your web site!
Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!
Good post! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.
You need to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites online. I will recommend this website!
I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to look at new things you postÖ
Spot on with this write-up, I seriously feel this site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!
Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.