Morgellons Disease

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Two views of a patient with sores resulting from Morgellons taken during a 2012 Centers for Disease Control study. The close-up (B) shows the mysterious fibers that are a part of this disease. (AP Photo/CDC).

Morgellons Disease

Morgellons disease is a skin condition in which afflicted individuals suffer from itching and scratching sensations under their skin. They become convinced this is caused by some infectious agent, such as some kind of parasitic worm. In many cases, the individuals become so irritated by the itching that they scratch open their skin, often discovering fibers or filaments, which may be white, blue, or black in color. In addition to the fibers, in some instances patients have been known to find black or white sandlike granules on or in the open scratches.

Morgellons did not really emerge to challenge modern medicine until 2001, when a Pittsburgh woman, Mary Leitao, examined her two-year-old son, who was complaining of sores around his mouth and the irritating sensation of having “bugs” crawling under his skin. When she looked at his sores with a toy microscope, she saw what appeared to be unusual red, blue, black, and white fibers in his skin.

Unable to find any conventional medical explanation for the peculiar manifestation of parasitic skin “worms” producing bizarre fibers in human flesh, Mrs. Leitao borrowed the name “Morgellons” from seventeenth-century French doctors who observed a similar condition in children. Next, she created a website presenting the phenomenon on the Internet. In short order, she was being inundated with emails from people who complained about the same creepy, skin-crawling parasites that emerged as varicolored fibers. Mrs. Leitao formed the Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF) to raise awareness for a disease that no doctor could define or identify. It didn’t take long for over 14,000 Morgellons sufferers to contact the MRF.

Singer Joni Mitchell identified herself as a sufferer of “this weird incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space…. Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer…. Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin…. they cannot be identified forensically as animal, vegetable, or mineral.”

Today, over ten years after the Leitao family christened the disease, there is a general consensus among those in the medical community that there are no known dermatological diseases that compare to Morgellons and that the disease is not a physical one, but a psychiatric condition.

Morgellons sufferers, however, strongly disagree. Thousands of those afflicted have written to Congress demanding an immediate investigation. More than forty senators took them seriously enough in 2006 to form a special taskforce with a million dollar budget.

In the May 6, 2011, issue of The Guardian, Will Storr wrote of his attendance at The Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference in Austin, Texas. There he interviewed Morgellons sufferers from such countries as the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Spain, and Mexico.

Dr. Ginger Savely, who claimed to have treated over five hundred Morgellons patients, was resolute in her opinion that those men and women who swore that bugs were crawling under their skin were not crazy.

Randy Wymore, associate professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University, became interested in the subject when he read an article about Morgellons. Wymore collected samples of the mysterious fibers from a large number of those afflicted with the disease and had them analyzed. The results yielded fibers of nylon, cotton, a human hair, a rodent’s hair, and down from a duck or goose. Disappointing, yes, but there were some samples that didn’t seem to make sense, thereby indicating to some that further research was warranted.

Later, Storr contacted Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, a neurologist specializing in chronic itch disorders who was sympathetic to the Morgellons sufferers. She believed that the Morgellons patients had been mistreated by the medical establishment, and, in her opinion, they were suffering from a chronic itch disorder that had not yet been diagnosed by the establishment.

Richard Fagerlund, an entomologist whose column appears in the San Francisco Chronicle and Albuquerque Journal, takes Morgellon patients seriously and feels that only a small percentage of cases involve delusional parasitosis (a mistaken belief that one has been bitten by lice, fleas, rodents, ticks, or mites that is also known as Ekbom’s syndrome). In his opinion, the rest might be caused by pollutants of some kind, especially certain pesticides.

The Atlas of Human Parasitology (2007) states that expert parasitologists, medical entomologists, and microbiologists have painstakingly examined fibers and other materials taken from Morgellons patients and have not found any biological organisms present. “Although an apparent association of the condition with the presence of Lyme disease has been reported, further research will be needed to help resolve the validity of Morgellons disease. Until then, whether Morgellons is another name for delusional parasitosis, or a real disease with a biologic or physiologic basis, will remain up in the air.”

Speaking of being up in the air, ask almost any conspiracy researcher and he or she will tell you that Morgellons disease is spread by chemtrails emitted by aircraft employed by the Illuminati or a secret branch of the government intent on following the agenda of the New World Order to cause mass epidemics that would reduce the world population. What is more, their claims will be backed up by dozens of Morgellons sufferers who will swear that the cause of their misery is contact with the chemical substances contained in the chemtrails.