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Morgellons Disease - New, Strange, and Scary - Health and Disease

Updated on April 16, 2012

Some Fibers Seen in Morgellons

There are Things to Learn About Morgellons Disease

We have recently not heard much about this somewhat obscure malady. It began to crop up in patients, young and old, in South Texas, beginning around 2002.

The federal agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describes Morgellons disease as one in which those who suffer from it have all sorts of "coetaneous" (I believe the government meant "cutaneous." [that is, skin]. "Coetaneous" means something of the same age or period.) symptoms, such as feelings of insects crawling, biting and stinging them on and under the skin. Additionally, they exhibit strange "threads," granules and black speck-looking things on or under the skin. They may also show skin lesions that appear as sores and rashes. There may also be body-wide symptoms of fatigue, memory loss and mental confusion, joint pain such as one encounters with arthritis, and there even may be vision problems.

Many physicians do not subscribe to that description, preferring, instead, to think of Morgellons Disease as a state of "delusional parasitosis." That is a mental condition in which the patient believes that he or she is beset with parasites. In short, most medical doctors don’t think that Morgellons is a physical malady but rather that it is a mental condition.

On the other hand, some physicians believe that Morgellons is for real. Some doctors state that they have observed Morgellons fibers under the microscope and by various other means. They have determined that the hundreds of fibers they studied looked very similar to one another, that they look nothing like textile fibers, and that, in any case, the fibers could not have been simply rubbed off of clothing because they were removed for their study from within the bodies of patients.

Those doctors, while they certainly declare that the fibers are present and frightening to patients, claim that the fibers are not nearly as important as is the nerve damage and other neurological injuries that accompany Morgellons Disease and affect a patient’s ability to think and to move their body in a normal way. There are difficulties of concentration, problems with communication similar to the multitude of untoward problems encountered in senility or the like.

So, what do doctors and ordinary folks do when, after pulling a fiber from under the skin or from a lesion and that fiber begins to twist and turn like some sort of worm looking for a home again? What sort of delusion is that?

You can find out lots more about Morgellons Disease by going to

www.morgellons.org/faq-home.htm, and also to http://www.cdc.gov/az/m.html after which you should scroll down to "Morgellons."

Although many medical doctors consider Morgellons to be a delusion, you will learn that others, many of them top professionals, do not think that way at all. They and the patients suffering from Morgellons are quite serious about the disease.

Perhaps you and I should be serious about Morgellons, too.

Oh yes, just one more very small thing you should know about Morgellons. There is no apostrophe before the "s." That’s a heads-up that I can provide to you while I am still Morgellons-free and able to write things with some remaining degree of rationality.

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    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      The morgellons.org site is closed. The foundation is no longer accepting donations. The CDC has removed morgellons from the list you linked to also.

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      7 years ago from USA

      Howdy Bardsky - Morgellons is a confusing sort of malady, not only for those suffering from it, but for those called on to treat it. Sorry to learn that your favorite performer and songwriter has it. Tough deal to get out from under.Seems to me that there is a fungal element to it and that a likely vector for its spread is a mite-like insect. The reason so little is known about it is probably because MJorgellons is relatively rare and economically not that important to the medical field.

      Gus :-)))

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I heard about this some years back but only last year did I find out that Joni Mitchell, who is one of my favourite singer-songwriters, is sadly now suffering from the disease! Voted up for this hub about a subject we all need to know a lot more about!

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      8 years ago from USA

      Hi Jess...Hi Waren E... You are both correct. What seems to me to be so unsettling about Morgellons is that there is so much disagreement among the docs as to what it is - and is it for real. Seems to me that it is probably infestation with a type of scabies insect that carries some mold inside with it when it bites and burrows. I have never seen a case of it although I have been involved in patient care and diagnosis since 1948!

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 

      8 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      Scary stuff, Gus! Thanks for the heads up!

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      8 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      That thing looks and sound terrible!O_o

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      8 years ago from USA

      Howdy Larry... Your kindness with words belies your inability to understand that I am o-l-d, a state in which the body disintegrates here and there, stiffens up there and here, and the mind goes limp; that is, turns into a vacuum much of the time.

      Anway, Good Friend (note the capitalization), you mention "Valley Fever" resulting from ancient seabed spores from around Bakersfield, California. I have little doubt but that you are spot-on with that. The Valley Fever with which I am familiar I encountered at the Pima Indian Reservation at Sacaton, Arizona. It, too, was caused by people inhaling spores, but those spores were from a sneaky little devil, the soil-living fungus, Coccidioides immitus. (The literature claims this to be the guy that does its thing also in the San Joaquin Valley in California.) People breathe in cocci spores released from dry soil into the air, and thus become infected. Here is a pretty good Internet reference: http://www.valley-fever.org/index.html .

      On the Pima Reservation at Sacaton they typically lost one resident a week to "cocci." That may have been due to the overall poverty (then) of the place and the resulting malnutrition. I suppose I should write a whole new hub about that stuff. See you around the area, Larry.

      Gus

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 

      8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Sounds a lot like Valley Fever, which, after 20 years of research, it was determined to be the result of inhaling ancient seabed spores from an extinct inland sea located around Bakersfield, which were spread throughout the San Joaquin valley by high winds in the summer....actually, skeletal debris from biological life forms...Any ancient inland seas around South Texas..?

      Interesting read, with your usual humor..thanks, Larry

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