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Alien disease surfaces in Texas...


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Doctors puzzled over bizarre infection surfacing in South Texas

Web Posted: 05/12/2006 10:51 AM CDT

Deborah Knapp
KENS 5 Eyewitness News

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.
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actually, just read through the whole article, and that's absolutely fucking horrifying if this is for real.
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People with creepy symptoms find a diagnosis on the Internet. But are they jumping to conclusions?

Photograph by Brent Humphreys
Published in the June, 2005 issue.

from: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/medicine/1662162.html?page=&c=y

Miles Lawrence, a landscaper in Florence, Texas, was supposed to be packing for a road trip to Las Vegas when he noticed his finger tingling. He stared in disbelief, he says, as "little spiny things" sprouted out of the skin where he'd just removed a splinter. He grasped one of the spines with tweezers and pulled.

Instantly, he says, a bolt of pain shot up his arm. He tugged on another one and the pain snaked up his neck. Then the really creepy part began. "It felt like bugs under the skin of my arms, in my joints," Lawrence says. "I freaked out."

Across the country, thousands of people complaining of the same horrifying phenomenon have formed an illness subculture. They share lists of symptoms, medical speculation and tales of run-ins with mainstream doctors at www.morgellons.org, the official Web site of a group called the Morgellons Research Foundation. It was founded in 2002 by Mary Leitao in McMurray, Pa. Leitao named the condition Morgellons Disease--after a disease with similar symptoms mentioned in a 16th-century medical text--while investigating a skin affliction on her then-2-year-old son.

Morgellons has barely registered on the radar of mainstream medicine. Few doctors have heard of the condition; fewer still know what to make of it. So when people walk into an examination room and announce they have Morgellons, they are often met with skepticism. Conflicts would seem to be inevitable.

"Dermatologists are afraid to see these patients," says Dr. Peter Lynch, professor emeritus of dermatology at the University of California, Davis. He says he has examined about 75 people with Morgellons-like symptoms in the past 35 years and believes they suffer from delusional parasitosis--literally, delusions of parasites in the skin. It's a diagnosis people don't like. One patient, threatening malpractice, convinced the state medical board to investigate Lynch. Another warned he had a pistol in the glove compartment of his truck, Lynch says. "He told me, 'I'm going to shoot the next doctor who tells me it's in my head.'"

Members of the Morgellons online community say that, like those who suffer from breast cancer and AIDS, they merely want appropriate resources devoted to their illness. A letter-writing campaign recently netted a modicum of high-profile attention when U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asking whether the organization had investigated the illness. The answer was no. "Our laboratories are available," says CDC spokeswoman Jennifer Morcone. "But we need a clinically appropriate sample." So far, she says, they've only received samples sent in by patients.

There's a reason for that. Lynch and a number of other doctors say they have sent samples to hospital pathologists, medical labs and state health boards, which have uniformly failed to find any sign of an infection. If there's nothing tangible to investigate, there's no reason to call in the big guns at CDC headquarters.

When Miles Lawrence sped to the hospital, he was told he had delusional parasitosis and that the weird spines were "just dirt." But over the next week his symptoms got worse. He scratched at his elbows and noticed more fibers, and little black specks. "It was like they were fighting back," he says.

Eventually, he found his way to a medical professional who does take the idea of Morgellons seriously. Ginger Savely, a nurse practitioner in Austin, Texas, says she has treated 35 patients with symptoms. "Everyone tells the exact same story," she says. "It's just so consistent." Savely prescribes her patients a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics. "If I knew what I was dealing with," she says, "it would be easier to treat." Yet, she says, her patients--including Lawrence--improve within weeks.

Other clinicians have likewise prescribed antibiotics. Dr. Raphael Stricker, a Lyme disease specialist in San Francisco, sees a handful of Morgellons patients--all of whom have tested positive for chronic Lyme disease. He thinks that Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria behind Lyme disease, has set his patients up for another, as-yet-unidentified, infection. And Dr. George Schwartz, a Santa Fe, N.M., trauma specialist, treats his patients with antibiotics targeted to Stenotrophomonas maltophilia--a usually harmless waterborne bacterium--and says he's seen them improve in only 48 hours.

The apparent success of antibiotic treatment for Morgellons hasn't swayed doctors like Lynch--mainly because pathologists have failed to find an infectious agent. "These scientists can recognize things down to the prion level, and viruses that do everything to evade detection," he says. Lynch's preferred treatment: the antipsychotic drug risperidone--which works, he says, in as little as two weeks.

Another prominent dermatologist, who insisted on anonymity out of concern for his safety, says he has diagnosed 50 or so Morgellons patients with cutaneous dysaesthesia--a neurological disorder that can result in the sensation of scuttling insects. And the spiny things? "In every case I've seen it's a textile fiber, and it's on the surface of the skin," he says. He typically puts a cast over the lesions to prevent further irritation and after four weeks removes it. "Guess what?" he says. "The lesions are healed."

Leitao and other Morgellons activists say that, with the Web as a primary tool, they'll continue working to have the illness investigated as an infectious disease. Doctors interviewed by PM say this unilateral approach hinders objective analysis of symptoms they've seen for decades. Well, all symptoms except for one: Widespread reports of the strange fibers date back only three years, to the time they were first described online, at www.morgellons.org.


Well, if they can treat this condition with a drug like risperidone, which is an antipsychotic used in the treatment of schizophrenia, it really sounds like this disease is bunk.
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The link with lyme disease is really interesting and i'm super curious as to what this is all about. Lyme disease can really start to mess you up internally if it's chronic, unique arthritides start to present and what not, all sorts of long term complications arise... maybe it's just another manifestation of the bacteria? crazy.

I don't understand why there is an issue with doctors not taking patients seriously with this... if there are physical manifestations beyond parasthesia (they called it cutaneous "dysaesthesia" but technically and specifically it should be considered a a cutaneous parasthesia), ie. the presentations of these "fibres" and undiagnosed lesions, black tarry sweat, etc... how are they assuming it's strictly a mental issue? Also, parasthesias present due to a number of neurological complications, so to tell a patient it's in their head and they're doing it to themselves is INSANE. It's not like they're seeing just one crazy person with this, they're seeing hundreds of patients. Hopefully they'll start taking this a bit more seriously and do more research into the true pathophysiology of it.

I'd loooove to see pics of these lesions. This is reallllly interesting.



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There seems to be a lack of photos on the web of the actual disease symptoms... perhaps if I have some time later i will whip some up with photoshop to add to the hype about this and float them out onto the internet..


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Crazy! So beyond the lesions there's some sort of local neurological impairment/dysfunction occuring also, esp. the way the pain and sensation was described when someone tried to pull out the fibre. So weird!




these are the typical bullseye rashes you see from lyme disease. i'm interested to find out what the correlation is.

Dear Ms. Hoover: You have Lyme's Disease. We miss you. Kevin's biting me. Come back soon. Here's a drawing of a spirochete. Love, Ralph.

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Some excerpts from that site:

I came down with Delusions of Parasitosis in 2001. This bizarre syndrome is also called Delusional Parasitosis, Delusionary Parasitosis, Neurocutaneous Syndrome, Monosymptomatic Hypochondriasis, or even DOP or DP for short. Although dermatologists think they know everything they need to know about this condition, and can usually diagnose it in minutes, they still do not know what causes it.

These delusions, although reasonably easy to locate and photograph once I had some experience with them, are not described in any book or article. I have looked through pages of images on the web of animal and human parasites, including protozoa, helminths, and arthropods, without finding them. Entomologists, including a vector parasitologist, have been unable to identify the organism in the video, although they have suggested it appears most like a flagellate protozoa. Parasitologists have told me they have not seen anything like my sandal thing in their lives. I am not a scientist, and after four years of research, I remain ignorant of the identity of what I have seen with my scope. I have had to conclude that I am looking at a parasite still unknown to the scientific community.

Fibers R Us. If there is a single delusion we all share, it is the fiber delusion. Even the docs can see this one, if they look. They tell us it is "lint" or fiber from clothing. Here then are a few pictures of "lint" I have found on or in my skin. As always, if anyone recognizes anything in these images, please email me at identify at dpref.com.
As with some of my burrow delusions, I also found these examples of fiber delusions on skin flakes from my chin during a particularly severe outbreak. You may be able to make out some burrow delusions in this shot as well. The first one is at 60x.

I had learned from experience that the clear, flattish, usually somewhat twisted, fibers that look so insubstantial (compared to some of the fat, colored fibers), would often move if I placed a drop of water near them. Mostly they just waved around a bit. I decided to see if this one would cooperate. A put the water near the sample and watched. The most remarkable drama unfolded in front of my eyes. I recorded for over half an hour, still at 200x, while the fiber appeared to wrestle with the glob.

The video: http://www.dpref.com/alive/part2.avi

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