CDC Cites No Infectious or Environmental Link to Morgellons
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report in late January stating that it could find no infectious or environmental causes (bacterial, fungal, or otherwise) for Morgellons disease, a skin condition characterized by persistent skin lesions, fibers found on or under the skin, and physical sensations including crawling, biting, and stinging.
The CDC study, which began in 2006, was a response to a letter-writing campaign initiated by self-described sufferers of Morgellons. The study consisted of skin biopsies, blood tests, and interviews of over 100 Morgellons patients. Upon thorough analysis, most sores appeared to result from chronic scratching and picking, without an underlying cause. The materials and fibers obtained from skin-biopsy specimens were mostly cellulose, compatible with cotton fibers.
Many doctors, including dermatologists and psychiatrists, regard Morgellons as a manifestation of known medical conditions, including delusional parasitosis. Consistent with this line of thought, the CDC concluded that future efforts “should focus on helping patients reduce their symptoms through careful attention to treatment of co-existing medical, including psychiatric, conditions that might be contributing to their symptoms.” However, study author Mark Eberhard, the CDC’s director of the division of parasitic diseases and malaria, commented, “We believe that these people [those claiming to suffer from Morgellons] have something and their quality of life [has] in some instances been very seriously impacted … We’re not saying this is made up. There could be a constellation of factors.”
Several Morgellons groups have challenged the results of the study, with some suggesting that the government and/or medical establishment are attempting a “cover up.”
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