Monday, May 15, 2006

Morgellon's disease

In the course of a discussion after a recent talk I gave on unusual diseases in Africa, a member of the audience mentioned knowing someone in South Texas with Morgellon's disease. I did a search for it and came up with this page. I remember as a resident at Baylor learning of the uncommonly high prevalence of leprosy in Texas due to the presence of Armadillo carriers. It looks like Texas has a new, unique disease...

f 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.

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