Skip to comments.Morgellons: Terrifying New Disease Reaching Pandemic Status
Posted on 03/04/2009 1:27:47 PM PST by Scythian
(NaturalNews) It sounds like something from a bad sci-fi movie. People report the sensation of creatures crawling under their skin, mysterious moving fibers appear, and finally bugs and worms pop out. Unfortunately, these terrifying symptoms are all too true. The people having them are experiencing Morgellons, the latest and scariest in the series of bizarre diseases appearing in the last few years, seemingly from nowhere. Morgellons is now reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S. and abroad.
Morgellons is a multi-dimensional disease
Morgellons starts with relentless itching, stinging or biting sensations. Cotton-like balls may appear on the body with no reasonable explanation. Soon skin rash develops along with lesions that will not heal. Many sufferers report string-like fibers of varying color popping out through the skin lesions. These fibers can be black, white, red or even iridescent blue. Others report black specks falling from their bodies that litter their sheets and bathrooms. Eventually a variety of bugs and worms begin to find their way out of the body through the lesions. Other accompanying symptoms include hair loss, debilitating and chronic fatigue, hard nodules beneath the skin, and joint pain.
Morgellons also has a cognitive aspect. People with the disease experience neurological damage that manifests as difficulty concentrating, inability to process and use language effectively, and generalized brain fog. The presence of reduced cognitive ability has made it easier for doctors to dismiss Morgellons and send patients away with a diagnosis of delusional parasitosis, meaning they are imagining they are infected by parasites. After the typical eight minute visit, traditional doctors pull out their prescription pads and write these people prescriptions for antidepressants or antipsychotic medications.
As a result, Morgellons also has a psychological component. Once people become aware that symptoms such as theirs are treated as delusions they are reluctant to seek further medical attention and tend to withdraw from society with their only contact with others being through the internet. They begin living the lifestyle of the leper. Many have to give up their jobs and become dependent on public assistance. This adds to the psychological debilitation of the disease. Not being taken seriously when you know you have a terrifying and devastating disease causes permanent psychological damage.
Morgellon's victims feel the resentment other patients do when they are told it is all in their heads. As Morgellon's progresses and the neurological symptoms become more manifest, patients can become difficult to care for and deal with. Isolated with only the internet, they become less able to effectively care for themselves. Some Morgellons patients have committed suicide.
It is a sad situation that the traditional doctor's visit must often end in a diagnosis, but the doctor is unwilling or unable to take the time to make sure it is a correct diagnosis. The traditional medical set up is frequently unable to deal with patients who present with a variety of diverse symptoms affecting several body systems at one time.
Oakland A's player Billy Koch and his family all have Morgellons. They have been open about their disease and have made some attempt to educate others. Billy had to retire from his baseball career as a result of the disease. Singer Joni Mitchell also has Morgellons, and the disease has negatively impacted her career as well.
Many morgellons victims end up trying to treat themselves
Anyone with Morgellons's symptoms will probably spend a lot of time going from doctor to doctor. While the unhelpful ones simply tell them they are delusional, the helpful ones prescribe a variety of creams used for scabies, ring worm and other parasitic diseases, but nothing works for more than a few days. With no help from the medical community, people with Morgellons turn to the internet where they learn the name for their disease and the names for the parasites that are coming through their skin. As a result of desperation and the lack of information about the disease except from chat boards, many victims end up trying a variety of toxic treatments at home.
Authorities on the disease are emerging
One of the few people to take the disease seriously was Randy Wymore, a neuroscientist at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Science. He received samples from a range of people who claimed the fibers had come through their skin. Although the samples all resembled one another, to him they looked like no other synthetic or natural fiber with which he compared them. He finally asked the Tulsa police department's forensics team to examine them.
The team identified the chemical structures of the fibers and compared them to their database of 800 fibers. They found no match, so they used gas chromatography to compare the fibers to their data on 90,000 organic compounds. The fibers did not match up with any of them. They concluded that the fibers were unknown, and not contaminants from clothing sticking to scabs on the lesions as had been thought by those so ready to dismiss what their patients were saying. Wymore and the forensic team concluded that the disease producing these fibers was very real and very frightening.
Wymore then asked the chief of the pediatrics department at Oklahoma State University Hospital, Rhonda Casey, to take a look at some of the patients. At first she was tempted to dismiss them too, but she began to realize how ill the people were. They had neurological symptoms that included confusion, loss of control of their feet that resulted in difficulty walking, and their mouths sagged when they spoke. Many had been diagnosed with neurological diseases.
Dr. Casey examined the patients, took biopsies of their lesions as well as from their healthy skin. Using a dermatoscope, she was able to observe fibers under completely unbroken skin. She found them embedded in the healthy tissue of the patients as well as the diseased tissue, and admitted seeing the full range of fiber colors. She reported seeing a lesion on a young girl's thigh with black fibers just barely protruding from it, and concluded that she could not have done this to herself.
Another person taking the disease seriously is Trisha Springstead, a registered nurse in Florida who has become a beacon of light for Morgellon's patients in the area. She has seen the fibers come through their skin, and has spent hours with patients extracting parasites embedded so deeply that a needle is required to extract them. According to her, a dermatoscope does not penetrate deeply enough to reveal the full extent of parasite involvement.
CDC begins epidemiologic investigation into Morgellons
In April, 2006, the CDC recommended an epidemiological investigation of what they were then referring to as a public health concern. In January, 2008 they announced a grant to health care giant Kaiser Permanente to test and interview 150 to 500 patients suffering from Morgellons. The study is being done in the Bay Area of northern California, where many Morgellons patients live. Kaiser Permanente doctors have been among the most ready to classify Morgellons as delusional parasitosis.
The National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED) provided statements posted on the CDC website regarding what the CDC now calls "Unexplained Dermopathy (aka Morgellons"). This organization was created in 2007 under CDC's Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases. ZVED promotes itself as proving leadership, expertise, and service in laboratory and epidemiological science, bioterrorism preparedness, applied research, disease surveillance, and outbreak response for infectious diseases.
The term zoonotic refers to any disease that is able to jump the divide from animals to people. Microbes created for bioterrorism are zoonotic. There are many known zoonotic diseases, such as Lyme disease and malaria. Vectors are the transmitters of disease-causing organisms that carry the pathogens from one host to another. By common usage, vectors are considered to be invertebrate animals, usually arthropods. Technically, vertebrates can also act as vectors, including foxes, raccoons, and skunks, which can all transmit disease to humans through a bite. Mosquitoes and ticks are the most notable disease vectors, although mites and gnats may also carry disease. Enteric diseases are bacterial and viral infections of the gastrointestinal tract that account for an under appreciated burden of morbidity and mortality domestically and abroad.
The involvement of ZVED in creating the CDC webpage for Mogellons clearly implies acceptance by the CDC that Morgellons is a disease involving not just fibers but parasites.
ZVED's vision statement describes three goals: accelerating prevention, control, and preparedness of ecologically mediated microbial threats; global vision, global presence, global reach, and health impact; and working at the intersection of human, animal, and ecological health to achieve healthier people, places, and a healthier world.
The Morgellons, GMO link persists
About the time that Dr. Wymore's forensic investigation of fibers was completed, a specialist in infectious disease detection, Ahmed Kilani, claimed to have broken down two fiber samples and extracted their DNA. He found that they belonged to a fungus.
Meanwhile, Vitaly Citovsky, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Stony Brook University in New York, discovered the fibers contained the substance Agrobacterium Tumafaciens, the bacteria causing crown gall disease in plants (formation of tumors in more than 140 species of dicot plants). It is a genus of gram-negative bacteria capable of genetically transforming not only plants, but also other eukaryotic species, including humans.
Anonymous samples were provided to Professor Citovsky by the Morgellon's Research Foundation to use in investigating the potential presence of Agrobacterium Tumafaciens in biopsies from Morgellon's patients. Control reactions included samples provided by healthy donors. Only Morgellons, not healthy subjects, tested positive for the bacterium in these studies.
Professor Citovsky issued a statement saying his observation does not imply that Agrobacterium Tumafaciens causes Morgellons, or that Morgellons is indeed an infectious disease. However, he has called for further study to determine (1) statistical significance of data, (2) whether the bacterium is not only present extracellularly, but also causes genetic transformation of the infected tissues, and (3) whether infection of laboratory animals with the bacterium can recreate symptoms of Morgellons.
Agrobacteerium Tumafaciens is a soil bacterium. Symptoms of grown gall disease are caused by the insertion of a small segment of DNA into the plant cell, which is incorporated at a semi-random location into the plant genome. They are parasitic and detrimental to the plant.
DNA transmission capabilities of Agrobacterium have been extensively exploited by biotechnologists as a means for inserting foreign genes into plants. They discovered the gene transfer mechanism between Agrobacterium and plants, and developed methods to alter Agrobacterium into an efficient delivery system for gene engineering in plants. This is done by cloning the desired gene sequence into the transfer DNA (T-DNA) that will be inserted into the host DNA. Under laboratory conditions the T-DNA has also been transferred to human cells, demonstrating the diversity of insertion application. The mechanism through which Agrobacterium inserts materials into the host cell is very similar to mechanisms used by pathogens to insert materials (usually proteins) into human cells.
For more information:
Clearly it’s aliens.
It is for fiberglass insulation (wasn’t clear before), apparently the small glass fibers dissolve in vinegar’s acid. It’s also recommended to put in your laundry if you work with fiberglass insulation to get it off your clothes.
Then you’ll love post #52
The depth of your compassion is truly stunning.
About as deep as a puddle after a light rain shower.
Perhaps the true diagnosis is Mass Hysteria.
On the other hand, Wikipedia has an entry; so, it must be real.
not sure you can honestly classify this as a ‘known disease’ at the moment, insofar as science is concerned, and while i empathize with Scythian and don’t mean to minimize or downplay any suffering that person may be experiencing, so far all the data would suggest that ‘morgellons’ is simply a neuropsychological disorder
please remember that ‘morgellons’ themselves are said to be fibrous, and yet cannot, or rather as of this writing have not been studied in situ in a sterile environment - ie an ‘infected’ patient in a sterile environment has yet to have a ‘morgellon’ removed and studied by scientists/medical doctors.
” Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, has seen a handful of Morgellons patients and biopsied their skin lesions, but found only normal skin and inflammation, as one would find in a bump that has been picked at. “
the wikipedia entry on ‘morgellons’ is pretty helpful, honestly, and suggests that most sufferers of ‘morgellons’ have self diagnosed said malady/affliction.
the Delusional parasitosis and other neuropsychological disorders section describes the typical ‘morgellons’ sufferer as most often someone with DOP or delusions of parasitic (subcutaneous) infestation.
the wikipedia entry is also quite helpful in describing the role the internet has played in the ‘morgellons pandemic’
Wiki excerpt: “Robert Bartholomew, a sociologist who has studied the Morgellons phenomenon, states that the “World Wide Web has become the incubator for mass delusion and it (Morgellons) seems to be a socially transmitted disease over the Internet.” According to this hypothesis, patients with delusions of parasitosis and other psychological disorders become convinced they have “Morgellons” after reading internet accounts of others with similar symptoms. A 2005 Popular Mechanics article stated that Morgellons symptoms are well-known and characterized in the context of other disorders, and that “widespread reports of the strange fibers date back” only a few years to when the MRF first described them on the internet.”
again, not to downplay or minimize anyone who is actually suffering out there, but the one symptom most of those afflicted with ‘morgellons’ seem to share with their fellow afflicted is the need for attention.
I also had an uncle who would complain about bugs and other creepy crawlies on his skin.
Don’t rule out delerium tremens.
I have a feeling you have a lot of people with a lot of different conditions, from bacterial infections, to allergies, to mental disorders, to being around fiberglass insulation.. the common factor is they all listen to Rense or Coast to Coast and have convinced themselves their issue is this mysterious Morgellions conspiracy.. It isn’t mentioned here, but much of the conspiracy around these are they are a government created superbug sprayed in chemtrails or something of the sort..
I’m puzzled by the Wikipedia version of the story of the woman who “discovered” this ailment in her 2 year old son. It says she reported that doctors started to refuse to see her and her son, asserting that she suffered from Munchausen’s By Proxy. It occurs to me that the proper approach for a 2 year old who is believed to be in such a situation is to remove the child from its parents into a controlled environment for a period of time, to see if the symptoms dissappear. On the other, it’s also reported that the doctors who examined her son couldn’t find anything at all wrong with his skin — no lesions, etc.
The trouble with something like this is that it certainly inspires a lot of cases of which ARE simply psychiatric in nature, and the cases where a real physiological problem is present are apt to get lost in the shuffle of crazies bringing little containers of fibers to their doctors with stories that the fibers crawled out of their skin, only to have lab analysis find that the fibers are identical to those that the patient’s close are made of.
It does sound to me like any real cases are most likely some sort of immune system failure, which would explain why no unusual pathogens are found in lab analysis, but the patients are still getting unusual symptoms not found in most people in whom the same garden variety pathogens are routinely found. It would also explain the lack of evidence of contagion.
Because it is the Wikipedia version, it doesn't have to make sense..
Out here in the hills of Appalachia, people are often sure they’ve seen mountain lions. As with the variety of Morgellons bugs and worms, no one has yet discovered and provided any hair, feces, blood, hide, or any other biosample to prove the Appalachian mountain lion’s existence.
not totally ...
This is real and serious to those who have it. Have seen it and per instructions sent people off with the “delusory parasitosis” label. I know many will make fun of it as they already have but it’s here and devastating to the victims.
I remember when this first started appearing and people were blogging about it on the alternative medicine site because they were they only ones who would listen. The doctors were referring people to shrinks and some Freepers were making with the tin-foil-hat jokes. How horrible it must be to have this.
You just keep telling yourself that and pray to God that one day you don't come down with this. I sincerely mean that.
I shouldn’t mock people who have mental problems, and I am sincerely sorry I did that. However, I do not believe this is a real disease. I have read extensively about it and I think the people who have been diagnosed with it have serious problems that are psychological, not medical.
May God have Mercy on the precious people that are suffering from this dreadful disease! The stress must be just awful.
This should say something about the likelihood that this "disease" is anything other than mass hallucination.
My guess is it’s fungal in nature, or oomycetes.
“...you could have read a book by the light coming out of my forearm...Clear crystal like glitter literally poured from my forehead constantly, and hard bits of plastic forced their way up through my skin.” I don’t believe any of this. I do not believe reputable medical doctors and scientists have confirmed your experiences as real. Anyone who is encouraging you to believe these things are really happening is either nuts or is exploiting your psychiatric problems. It would be fake compassion of me to encourage this invasion-of-the-body-snatchers stuff. Please seek real psychiatric help.
Yep, I saw a show - some mystery diagnosis or ER program where a woman had little grub-like worms living under her scalp. Just like this article describes, numerous Drs chalked up the woman’s symptoms to something mental. But, the ER Dr got lucky and saw one of the critters and pulled out several. The woman and her husband were ecstatic. It was totally gross and weird.
I totally understand your reaction, the funny thing is the ones truly living in a state of unreality are the ones denying this, you don’t have to believe me, I’m beyond needing to prove this to anyone, my point in posting the story was that it was newsworthy, the CDC is investigating this, albiet probably not in a serious manor as they only allocated 330k to the study (I mean come on). However, many here are hearing about it for the first time.
I have children, my life is literally ruined, but I believe once identified Morgellons will be able to be treated, I will no doubt die from this, perhaps they wont have to, I’ve already resigned to that end, I’ve not really even stressed over, the pain is so much that I welcome the end, but I need to try to live another 8 or 9 years if I can to see my children to adulthood. The reality is that I what I stated above is not all that unusual to a lot of people living through this nightmare. I wish you well, and that you do not come down with this.
Wow, sounds like the beginning of a mutant race. Cue the pics of Wolverine and Jean Grey.
Professor Citovsky issued a statement saying his observation does not imply that Agrobacterium Tumafaciens causes Morgellons, or that Morgellons is indeed an infectious disease. However, he has called for further studyThanks Scythian.
Now I have the heebie jeebies!
I can’t stop scratching!
WOOOOHOOOOO Scythian! Thanks for posting/commenting/linking to the Joni Mitchell thread/educating/linking/answering questions/etc., etc.
I am closely acquainted with another Morgellons patient, sharing some but not all of the symptoms you've described. I witnessed some of the unusual material being ejected from the skin. Whether this is a single unexplained syndrome, or a combination of known disease processes manifesting in unusual ways, I am convinced it is "real" in some patients. Some psychopathology is inevitable, whether primary or secondary, as no person harboring these physical symptoms could avoid being depressed and anxious, at a minimum. Best wishes to you.
Paging Dr. Gregory House....
Thanks, I think if one takes the time to look at the information I posted above regarding the study that found Collembola (a tiny insect) in those previosly written off as delusional, and that thier favorite food is Ps. Putida, and that Ps. Putida turns oils and other material into platic and that Dr Wymore cultured it off actual Morgellons fibers (but didn’t know in 2006 what the signifance was) and that they use this as a standard building block in GMO Corn and Soybean applications and that they have gene spliced bioluminescense into so they can trace it, it’s really not that far fetched at all. In fact, since Ps. Putida is a common soil bacterium (that has been hopped via GMO) this could explain how Morgellons existed back in the 1600’s from whence the name comes, perhaps somehow this got into people back then by some strange twist of fate, only now we’ve screwed with it, and it’s gone world wide through the food supply, but now, it’s more virulent and built to withstand anything. But there is more to it, it’s just not Ps. Putida, there is a good case to be made for an “Oomycete” playing a role in this as well, a very good case actually.
Are you in Florida or Texas?
My thought as well.
“I also had an uncle who would complain about bugs and other creepy crawlies on his skin.
Dont rule out delerium tremens.”
Sometimes I think the internet does more harm than good.
In 2003 I woke up one morning blind in one eye. I was also suffering chronic fatigue, a sensation of water dripping down my legs, and a weird sensation of a “worm” moving in my head behind the affected eye.
(I didn’t really think there was actual worm -that’s just how I describe the sensation)
The first suspect on the list was MS, and that’s how they treated - infusion with steroids.
It took 2 weeks for the vision to come back, and I went through my 1st set of MRI’s.
During that time I was scouring the internet plugging my symptoms into search engines and coming up with all sorts of bizarre possibilities.
My MRI’s were clean. They ordered MRIs after another 6 months (6 months I spent online obsessing over it all)
2nd set of MRIs were clean. No MS - no nothing. The doctor told me to “put it out of your head - it was most likely a strange virus that caused your optic nerve to swell”
The eye doctor said neurological pain can have very strange sensations - he thought the “worm” in my head was due to the inflamed optic nerve.
It took awhile to put it out of head - but once I stopped trying to diagnose myself online I sure was alot happier.
I'm going to track you down. I'm going to give you a wedgie. Or a swirly.
Neither, that is a myth that the disease is mostly in those places, much like Lyme Disease is only on the east coast, there are people on our forums from everywhere, I mean everywhere. Even from other countries as well. There are countries like Germany, Austrialia and others with very high infection rates.
Prayers for a complete recovery!
It must be nice reserving your judgment until the CDC study is finished! Meanwhile thousands suffer because there is no "study" to back up their claims!
Scythian, you have our prayers, I Know what It feels like to be be the only one. I am here for you if you need to talk! My beloved husband, saltnlemons, another FReeper has stood with me these 20 years. He is better at the keyboard then I am! Some days it really hurts to type. May God Bless you & your family!
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