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Doctors puzzled over bizarre infection surfacing in South Texas
KENS 5 Eyewitness News ^ | 05/12/2006 | Deborah Knapp

Posted on 05/12/2006 6:44:12 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd

If diseases like AIDS and bird flu scare you, wait until you hear what's next. Doctors are trying to find out what is causing a bizarre and mysterious infection that's surfaced in South Texas.

Morgellons disease is not yet known to kill, but if you were to get it, you might wish you were dead, as the symptoms are horrible.

"These people will have like beads of sweat but it's black, black and tarry," said Ginger Savely, a nurse practioner in Austin who treats a majority of these patients.

Patients get lesions that never heal.

"Sometimes little black specks that come out of the lesions and sometimes little fibers," said Stephanie Bailey, Morgellons patient.

Patients say that's the worst symptom — strange fibers that pop out of your skin in different colors.

"He'd have attacks and fibers would come out of his hands and fingers, white, black and sometimes red. Very, very painful," said Lisa Wilson, whose son Travis had Morgellon's disease.

While all of this is going on, it feels like bugs are crawling under your skin. So far more than 100 cases of Morgellons disease have been reported in South Texas.

"It really has the makings of a horror movie in every way," Savely said.

While Savely sees this as a legitimate disease, there are many doctors who simply refuse to acknowledge it exists, because of the bizarre symptoms patients are diagnosed as delusional.

"Believe me, if I just randomly saw one of these patients in my office, I would think they were crazy too," Savely said. "But after you've heard the story of over 100 (patients) and they're all — down to the most minute detail — saying the exact same thing, that becomes quite impressive."

Travis Wilson developed Morgellons just over a year ago. He called his mother in to see a fiber coming out of a lesion.

"It looked like a piece of spaghetti was sticking out about a quarter to an eighth of an inch long and it was sticking out of his chest," Lisa Wilson said. "I tried to pull it as hard as I could out and I could not pull it out."

The Wilson's spent $14,000 after insurance last year on doctors and medicine.

"Most of them are antibiotics. He was on Tamadone for pain. Viltricide, this was an anti-parasitic. This was to try and protect his skin because of all the lesions and stuff," Lisa said.

However, nothing worked, and 23-year-old Travis could no longer take it.

"I knew he was going to kill himself, and there was nothing I could do to stop him," Lisa Wilson said.

Just two weeks ago, Travis took his life.

Stephanie Bailey developed the lesions four-and-a-half years ago.

"The lesions come up, and then these fuzzy things like spores come out," she said.

She also has the crawling sensation.

"You just want to get it out of you," Bailey said.

She has no idea what caused the disease, and nothing has worked to clear it up.

"They (doctors) told me I was just doing this to myself, that I was nuts. So basically I stopped going to doctors because I was afraid they were going to lock me up," Bailey said.

Harriett Bishop has battled Morgellons for 12 years. After a year on antibiotics, her hands have nearly cleared up. On the day, we visited her she only had one lesion and she extracted this fiber from it.

"You want to get these things out to relieve the pain, and that's why you pull and then you can see the fibers there, and the tentacles are there, and there are millions of them," Bishop said.

So far, pathologists have failed to find any infection in the fibers pulled from lesions.

"Clearly something is physically happening here," said Dr. Randy Wymore, a researcher at the Morgellons Research Foundation at Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences.

Wymore examines the fibers, scabs and other samples from Morgellon's patients to try and find the disease's cause.

"These fibers don't look like common environmental fibers," he said.

The goal at OSU is to scientifically find out what is going on. Until then, patients and doctors struggle with this mysterious and bizarre infection. Thus far, the only treatment that has showed some success is an antibiotic.

"It sounds a little like a parasite, like a fungal infection, like a bacterial infection, but it never quite fits all the criteria of any known pathogen," Savely said

No one knows how Morgellans is contracted, but it does not appear to be contagious. The states with the highest number of cases are Texas, California and Florida.

The only connection found so far is that more than half of the Morgellons patients are also diagnosed with Lyme disease.

For more information on Morgellons, visit the research foundation's Web site at www.morgellons.org.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: diseases; infection; morgellons; morgellonsdisease; oddities; southtexas; yikes
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My skin is getting all creepy-crawly just reading this.
1 posted on 05/12/2006 6:44:13 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd

I agree. It sounds absolutely hideous. I'm sorry for anyone who has this disease and pray I never get it.


2 posted on 05/12/2006 6:46:11 AM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: Responsibility2nd

Interesting that it's in South Texas. My bet is that it originated in Mexico.


3 posted on 05/12/2006 6:46:23 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

It would be a fair guess and those entering from there would spread it.


4 posted on 05/12/2006 6:47:42 AM PDT by stopem (America is NOT Fox's employment agency!! Butt out Vincente.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

*itch* *itch* *itch* *itch* *itch* *itch* *itch* *itch*


5 posted on 05/12/2006 6:47:55 AM PDT by M203M4
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To: Brilliant

Of course. Illegal fuzzy alien viruses that crossed the border.


6 posted on 05/12/2006 6:48:17 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (A Moose Once Bit my Sister. Yeah. She Turned Moose-lim.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Link. Interestingly, the Morgellons support groups call the disease contagious.

Given the connection with Lyme disease, perhaps it's from Connecticut.

7 posted on 05/12/2006 6:50:38 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Illegal fuzzy alien viruses that crossed the border.

Just doing the infection that American viruses won't do.

Of course the new Congressional bill will allow them to remain here.

8 posted on 05/12/2006 6:51:14 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Just one more benefit from the illegal horde.


9 posted on 05/12/2006 6:51:39 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush (Flood waters rising, heading for more conservative ground. Vote for true conservatives!)
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To: Responsibility2nd; Agrarian
The obvious key is the connection to Lyme. I did a few searches and PCR isn't helping.

Thanks for the facinating post.

10 posted on 05/12/2006 6:51:39 AM PDT by MarMema (Buy Danish, support freedom)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Horrors! The world is crumbling before our very eyes! Truly this is the End of Days. </sarcasm>


11 posted on 05/12/2006 6:51:58 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: Brilliant

Didn't take long for someone to say that.


12 posted on 05/12/2006 6:52:15 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: Responsibility2nd

More searching yields some medical comments to the effect that treatment of Lyme disease affects the immune system. Correction of the immune system probelms seems to help Morgellon disease.


13 posted on 05/12/2006 6:52:47 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Responsibility2nd
I read about this 3 years ago. They were blaming it on 'chemtrails' at the time. http://www.morgellons.org
14 posted on 05/12/2006 6:53:50 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: Responsibility2nd
No one knows how Morgellans is contracted, but it does not appear to be contagious. The states with the highest number of cases are Texas, California and Florida.

Well...that is odd. Sad that the patient took his own life.
15 posted on 05/12/2006 6:54:07 AM PDT by P-40
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To: Responsibility2nd

Hard to believe that this is not a hoax.


16 posted on 05/12/2006 6:54:24 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

It's interesting the article says the most cases of this disease or in South Texas, South Florida and California. That's also where most of our illegal immigrants are too.


17 posted on 05/12/2006 6:54:32 AM PDT by Ptaz (Take Personal Responsibility--it's not fun, but it's the right thing to do.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

If the patients have been diagnosed with a disease that has a name, how can they be crazy?


18 posted on 05/12/2006 6:55:12 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Responsibility2nd

Can you imagine having a bad case of shingles that never dries up? Ouch!


19 posted on 05/12/2006 6:55:18 AM PDT by eastforker (Under Cover FReeper going dark(too much 24))
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To: stopem; Brilliant

Yet we read that it's not contagious, so let's not turn this into yet another hijacked thread about illegal immigration.


20 posted on 05/12/2006 6:55:25 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Ptaz

You too.


21 posted on 05/12/2006 6:56:00 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: hocndoc

Check it out.

22 posted on 05/12/2006 6:56:20 AM PDT by MarMema (Buy Danish, support freedom)
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To: Dog Gone

We didn't you did.


23 posted on 05/12/2006 6:56:33 AM PDT by stopem (America is NOT Fox's employment agency!! Butt out Vincente.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Infections from Mexico......reason # 77 to close the border.


24 posted on 05/12/2006 6:56:48 AM PDT by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN (I'm a proud GRINGO......is Bill Clinton still the president?...Seems that way sometimes!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

As good as US doctors are, they are often completely stumped when it comes to common Third-World diseases. They simply do not expect to find them and have little experience in making a diagnosis.

One thing to remember if you ever travel to exotic locations is to tell your doctor where you have been if you become sick within the next six months or so. If your doctor is confused, see a specialist with experience in tropical diseases.


25 posted on 05/12/2006 6:56:56 AM PDT by bondjamesbond (Rice 2008)
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To: Dog Gone

The people saying that it is not contagious are probably the same people who once said it was not a disease.


26 posted on 05/12/2006 6:57:06 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: Responsibility2nd
Hmmmm...South Texas,eh? Gee,I hope this doesn't spread from
"South Texas" to...Hyannisport....Chappaqua.....Martha's Vineyard.....Pelosi's homosexual and drug addicted constituents in SF....Crawford....
27 posted on 05/12/2006 6:57:15 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative
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To: ClaireSolt
Hard to believe that this is not a hoax

Ditto. No evidence of any microscopic anything, all they talk about is PCR.

28 posted on 05/12/2006 6:57:22 AM PDT by MarMema (Buy Danish, support freedom)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: Doctor Stochastic

I had Lyme disease several years ago, and one of the symptoms I had was the feeling that something was crawling on me. I still have that at times, but nothing like at the time.


30 posted on 05/12/2006 6:58:09 AM PDT by TexasTaysor
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To: evets
They were blaming it on 'chemtrails' at the time...

Well, what isn't caused by chemtrails?

31 posted on 05/12/2006 6:58:22 AM PDT by bondjamesbond (Rice 2008)
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To: Responsibility2nd
For later.

I'm just curious enough to wanna see pics.
32 posted on 05/12/2006 6:58:54 AM PDT by Rightly Biased (Valor is a Gift.Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes)
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To: bondjamesbond
As good as US doctors are, they are often completely stumped when it comes to common Third-World diseases.

Somewhat true, for some situations, but they also know enough to do the referral to infectious disease docs.

33 posted on 05/12/2006 6:58:56 AM PDT by MarMema (Buy Danish, support freedom)
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To: mlc9852

But this is a real phenomenon. People from third world areas have diseases we don't.

My brother in law used to be a health inspector in NY city. He would never eat at any restaurant there, and one of the reasons he gave was you just couldn't be sure that a worker wasn't carrying an exotic disease.

He will not eat at any buffet to this day. Come to think of it, we can barely find anyplace he'll eat.


34 posted on 05/12/2006 7:00:39 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: Bikers4Bush

I didn't see where it said the disease originated in Mexico. In fact, apparently the medical community can't even agree if it's real.

Delusional parasitosis

Presentations of Morgellons are frequently diagnosed as delusional parasitosis. The symptoms of delusional parasitosis are very similar to those presented by a Morgellons sufferer who rejects conventional diagnosis of their symptoms, or who presents a belief in the existence of an organism that cannot be observed except by the patient. There is no agreed upon differential diagnosis since Morgellons is not an accepted medical condition.

In her article Delusory Parasitosis, Nancy C. Hinkle outlines thirteen indications of delusional parasitosis, many of which are shared by patients claiming to have Morgellons. These indications include

* The presentation of physical evidence such as skin scrapings and debris
* Obsessive cleaning and use of disinfectants and insecticides
* Rejection of the possibility of psychological or other explanations
* Emotional trauma, desperation, social isolation.
* Having seen numerous physicians, to no avail

Due to the these similarity in symptoms between delusional parasitosis and Morgellons, it is difficult to separate them. Since Morgellons is not an accepted medical condition, the presentation of symptoms that the patient thinks are Morgellons will generally lead to a diagnosis of delusional parasitosis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgellons


35 posted on 05/12/2006 7:00:59 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: stopem

Sure.


36 posted on 05/12/2006 7:01:02 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

I have just as much right to express my opinion as you do! They don't know the cause and they don't know the cure for this.


37 posted on 05/12/2006 7:02:05 AM PDT by Ptaz (Take Personal Responsibility--it's not fun, but it's the right thing to do.)
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To: Izzy Dunne
Of course the new Congressional bill will allow them to remain here.

If it ever develops the ability to vote more benefits for itself.

38 posted on 05/12/2006 7:02:45 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: I still care

There is absolutely no evidence this was brought here from Mexico. In fact, some doctors discount it as a medical disease. I am tired of Mexicans being blamed for everything wrong in this country!


39 posted on 05/12/2006 7:02:48 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: Dog Gone

Hijack? Did someone say Hijack???

40 posted on 05/12/2006 7:04:18 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (A Moose Once Bit my Sister. Yeah. She Turned Moose-lim.)
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To: Ptaz

They don't know the cause, so it must be illegal immigrants.

That's the depth of your thinking.


41 posted on 05/12/2006 7:04:39 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

Too late.


42 posted on 05/12/2006 7:05:05 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: bondjamesbond
Beer belly.

43 posted on 05/12/2006 7:05:40 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN

Where does it say this is from Mexico?


44 posted on 05/12/2006 7:05:49 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: mlc9852

'fraid so.


45 posted on 05/12/2006 7:07:12 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

46 posted on 05/12/2006 7:07:36 AM PDT by evets (Snakes on a plane...)
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To: Rightly Biased

Pics? You want pics?

Well, here ya go!

47 posted on 05/12/2006 7:07:56 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (A Moose Once Bit my Sister. Yeah. She Turned Moose-lim.)
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To: mlc9852

Right, and all the outbreaks of tuberculosis, mumps, bed bugs, etc. didn't originate south of the border either.

Any strange disease that shows up on our southern border is almost certainly the result of the illegal alien influx.

Funny though how you assumed that just because I attributed it to illegal trash that I was saying it originated in Mexico.

All I said was that it was another benefit of the illegal horde, I never specified mexico.


48 posted on 05/12/2006 7:08:02 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush (Flood waters rising, heading for more conservative ground. Vote for true conservatives!)
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To: Dog Gone

No I was just making an observation. You must get your jolllies insulting people.


49 posted on 05/12/2006 7:08:47 AM PDT by Ptaz (Take Personal Responsibility--it's not fun, but it's the right thing to do.)
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To: Dog Gone
frayed knot.

50 posted on 05/12/2006 7:09:01 AM PDT by evets (Snakes on a plane...)
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