My son Nick asked me yesterday if I had ever heard of something called Morgellons disease. I hadn’t, so I looked it up online. It is, as they say in England, a rum business indeed.
Morgellons is, according to its Wikipedia entry, “a condition characterized by a range of cutaneous (skin) symptoms including crawling, biting, and stinging sensations; finding fibers on or under the skin; and persistent skin lesions (e.g., rashes or sores)”.
This sounds awfully unpleasant, and given the part about the “fibers”, more than a little strange.
Reading on, we learn:
In 2001, biologist Mary Leitao’s two-year-old son developed sores under his lip and began to complain of “bugs.” Leitao examined the sores and discovered red, blue, black and white “bundles of fibers.” She took her son to see at least eight different doctors who were unable to find any disease, allergy, or other explanation for the symptoms, but her son developed more sores, and more fibers continued to poke out of them. She chose the name Morgellons disease (with a hard g) from a description of an illness in the monograph A Letter to a Friend by Sir Thomas Browne, in 1690, wherein he describes several medical conditions in his experience, including “that endemial distemper of children in Languedoc, called the morgellons, wherein they critically break out with harsh hairs on their backs.” There is no suggestion that the two are linked.
The disorder involves an odd assortment of symptoms:
- Disturbing sensations of insect-like crawling, stinging or biting on or under the skin (formication)
- Skin rashes and lesions that do not heal
- Fiber-like filaments, granules or crystals that appear on or under the skin or that can be extracted from lesions
- Joint, muscle and connective tissue pain, including fibromyalgia
- Debilitating fatigue
- Cognitive dysfunction, including difficulty with concentration, short-term memory, and attention
Whatever it is, a lot of people seem to be getting it. The article tells us:
Leitao founded the Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF) in 2002. The MRF states on its website that its purpose is to raise awareness and funding for research into the condition, described by the organization as “a newly emerging infectious disease”. Leitao stated that she initially hoped to receive information from scientists or physicians who might understand the problem, but instead, thousands of others contacted her describing their sores and fibers, as well as neurological symptoms, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and other symptoms. The MRF has now received claimed reports of Morgellons from all 50 US states and 15 nations, including Canada, the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands, and states that they have been contacted by over 10,000 families.
I think this is all very odd. Especially those fibers.