Morgellons is a growing global phenomenon, the true nature of which is currently unclear: is it a hideous new 21st-century disease or is it simply old hysteria transmitted by modern means?
Go online and you will find mind-blowing theories of sinister conspiracies, military applications of the latest technological and medical breakthroughs such as nano-technology, diseases deliberately spread by airplane chem-trails and much more. Morgellons sufferers and some medical professionals say these are the mysterious fibers that Morgellons syndrome causes to develop in the human body.
These fibers are said to often cause pain when removal is attempted and are described as possessing other unusual properties, such as autofluorescence and resistance to high temperatures. Then comes the fatigue, the hallucinations and, often, alienation from family, friends, and society, along with a seemingly endless search for a sympathetic doctor.
The condition was named Morgellons by a biologist, Mary Leitao, whose infant son was suffering unusual symptoms. It is based on the mention of a strange fiber-generating condition, found exclusively in children, by Sir Thomas Browne in 1674, although closer examination reveals there are few similarities between the original manifestation and this present outbreak. The present outbreak affects mainly adults and is significantly different in many respects to the disease that Browne described over 300 years ago.
Almost the entirety of the debate concerning Morgellons revolves around the question of whether Morgellons is a ‘real’ physical condition, or a psychological one. A bitter controversy has developed between the two schools of thought. The truth is that currently, it is not possible to say with any certainty that Morgellons symptoms are caused by a physical disease entity (eg. bacteria), or, are a result of psychological processes.
Currently, there are three undeniable facts regarding Morgellons disease. They are that;
- People are displaying debilitating symptoms and genuinely suffering
- No infectious entity has yet been established
- Most of the theories regarding Morgellons found online are not backed up by peer-reviewed scientific research.
Signs and Symptoms:
The initial symptoms are the appearance of hard to heal skin lesions or painful itchy rashes which noticeably discolor the skin. Within the lesions, or sometimes protruding from the unbroken skin, are mysterious fibers of various colors (blue, red, black, white).
The skin sensations they refer to are feelings of movement under the skin, commonly likened to bugs or insects. It is this aspect of Morgellons that has led to many patients being diagnosed as suffering from the rare psychological condition “Delusional Parasitosis” which causes sufferers to believe that their skin is infested with insects.
A further common symptom is that of fatigue. The overwhelming majority of Morgellons sufferers report that the condition brings with it unshakeable fatigue and that, along with the neurological symptoms described below, makes it difficult to maintain a normal life – to go to work, to do regular household chores, take exercise and so on.
Despite the original focus of Morgellons falling exclusively on the skin complaints it soon emerged that there were other symptoms of even greater concern. The Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF), a non-profit organization set up to collate information from sufferers and conduct and orchestrate research, have reported that 95% of those claiming to suffer from Morgellons also report what is described as ‘brain fog’, whilst 50% complain of myalgias (joint pain), sleep disorders and many other symptoms.