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Morgellons: Terrifying New Disease Reaching Pandemic Status Print-ready version

by Barbara Minton
Natural News
March 3, 2009

(NaturalNews) It sounds like something from a bad sci-fi movie. People report the sensation of creatures crawling under their skin, mysterious moving fibers appear, and finally bugs and worms pop out. Unfortunately, these terrifying symptoms are all too true. The people having them are experiencing Morgellons, the latest and scariest in the series of bizarre diseases appearing in the last few years, seemingly from nowhere. Morgellons is now reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S. and abroad.

Morgellons is a multi-dimensional disease

Morgellons starts with relentless itching, stinging or biting sensations. Cotton-like balls may appear on the body with no reasonable explanation. Soon skin rash develops along with lesions that will not heal. Many sufferers report string-like fibers of varying color popping out through the skin lesions. These fibers can be black, white, red or even iridescent blue. Others report black specks falling from their bodies that litter their sheets and bathrooms. Eventually a variety of bugs and worms begin to find their way out of the body through the lesions. Other accompanying symptoms include hair loss, debilitating and chronic fatigue, hard nodules beneath the skin, and joint pain.

Morgellons also has a cognitive aspect. People with the disease experience neurological damage that manifests as difficulty concentrating, inability to process and use language effectively, and generalized brain fog. The presence of reduced cognitive ability has made it easier for doctors to dismiss Morgellons and send patients away with a diagnosis of delusional parasitosis, meaning they are imagining they are infected by parasites. After the typical eight minute visit, traditional doctors pull out their prescription pads and write these people prescriptions for antidepressants or antipsychotic medications.

As a result, Morgellons also has a psychological component. Once people become aware that symptoms such as theirs are treated as delusions they are reluctant to seek further medical attention and tend to withdraw from society with their only contact with others being through the internet. They begin living the lifestyle of the leper. Many have to give up their jobs and become dependent on public assistance. This adds to the psychological debilitation of the disease. Not being taken seriously when you know you have a terrifying and devastating disease causes permanent psychological damage.

Morgellon's victims feel the resentment other patients do when they are told it is all in their heads. As Morgellon's progresses and the neurological symptoms become more manifest, patients can become difficult to care for and deal with. Isolated with only the internet, they become less able to effectively care for themselves. Some Morgellons patients have committed suicide.

It is a sad situation that the traditional doctor's visit must often end in a diagnosis, but the doctor is unwilling or unable to take the time to make sure it is a correct diagnosis. The traditional medical set up is frequently unable to deal with patients who present with a variety of diverse symptoms affecting several body systems at one time.

Oakland A's player Billy Koch and his family all have Morgellons. They have been open about their disease and have made some attempt to educate others. Billy had to retire from his baseball career as a result of the disease. Singer Joni Mitchell also has Morgellons, and the disease has negatively impacted her career as well.

Many morgellons victims end up trying to treat themselves

Anyone with Morgellons's symptoms will probably spend a lot of time going from doctor to doctor. While the unhelpful ones simply tell them they are delusional, the helpful ones prescribe a variety of creams used for scabies, ring worm and other parasitic diseases, but nothing works for more than a few days. With no help from the medical community, people with Morgellons turn to the internet where they learn the name for their disease and the names for the parasites that are coming through their skin. As a result of desperation and the lack of information about the disease except from chat boards, many victims end up trying a variety of toxic treatments at home.

Authorities on the disease are emerging

One of the few people to take the disease seriously was Randy Wymore, a neuroscientist at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Science. He received samples from a range of people who claimed the fibers had come through their skin. Although the samples all resembled one another, to him they looked like no other synthetic or natural fiber with which he compared them. He finally asked the Tulsa police department's forensics team to examine them.

The team identified the chemical structures of the fibers and compared them to their database of 800 fibers. They found no match, so they used gas chromatography to compare the fibers to their data on 90,000 organic compounds. The fibers did not match up with any of them. They concluded that the fibers were unknown, and not contaminants from clothing sticking to scabs on the lesions as had been thought by those so ready to dismiss what their patients were saying. Wymore and the forensic team concluded that the disease producing these fibers was very real and very frightening.

Wymore then asked the chief of the pediatrics department at Oklahoma State University Hospital, Rhonda Casey, to take a look at some of the patients. At first she was tempted to dismiss them too, but she began to realize how ill the people were. They had neurological symptoms that included confusion, loss of control of their feet that resulted in difficulty walking, and their mouths sagged when they spoke. Many had been diagnosed with neurological diseases.

Dr. Casey examined the patients, took biopsies of their lesions as well as from their healthy skin. Using a dermatoscope, she was able to observe fibers under completely unbroken skin. She found them embedded in the healthy tissue of the patients as well as the diseased tissue, and admitted seeing the full range of fiber colors. She reported seeing a lesion on a young girl's thigh with black fibers just barely protruding from it, and concluded that she could not have done this to herself.

Another person taking the disease seriously is Trisha Springstead, a registered nurse in Florida who has become a beacon of light for Morgellon's patients in the area. She has seen the fibers come through their skin, and has spent hours with patients extracting parasites embedded so deeply that a needle is required to extract them. According to her, a dermatoscope does not penetrate deeply enough to reveal the full extent of parasite involvement.

CDC begins epidemiologic investigation into Morgellons

In April, 2006, the CDC recommended an epidemiological investigation of what they were then referring to as a public health concern. In January, 2008 they announced a grant to health care giant Kaiser Permanente to test and interview 150 to 500 patients suffering from Morgellons. The study is being done in the Bay Area of northern California, where many Morgellons patients live. Kaiser Permanente doctors have been among the most ready to classify Morgellons as delusional parasitosis.

The National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED) provided statements posted on the CDC website regarding what the CDC now calls "Unexplained Dermopathy (aka Morgellons"). This organization was created in 2007 under CDC's Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases. ZVED promotes itself as proving leadership, expertise, and service in laboratory and epidemiological science, bioterrorism preparedness, applied research, disease surveillance, and outbreak response for infectious diseases.

The term zoonotic refers to any disease that is able to jump the divide from animals to people. Microbes created for bioterrorism are zoonotic. There are many known zoonotic diseases, such as Lyme disease and malaria. Vectors are the transmitters of disease-causing organisms that carry the pathogens from one host to another. By common usage, vectors are considered to be invertebrate animals, usually arthropods. Technically, vertebrates can also act as vectors, including foxes, raccoons, and skunks, which can all transmit disease to humans through a bite. Mosquitoes and ticks are the most notable disease vectors, although mites and gnats may also carry disease. Enteric diseases are bacterial and viral infections of the gastrointestinal tract that account for an under appreciated burden of morbidity and mortality domestically and abroad.

The involvement of ZVED in creating the CDC webpage for Mogellons clearly implies acceptance by the CDC that Morgellons is a disease involving not just fibers but parasites.

ZVED's vision statement describes three goals: accelerating prevention, control, and preparedness of ecologically mediated microbial threats; global vision, global presence, global reach, and health impact; and working at the intersection of human, animal, and ecological health to achieve healthier people, places, and a healthier world.

The Morgellons, GMO link persists

About the time that Dr. Wymore's forensic investigation of fibers was completed, a specialist in infectious disease detection, Ahmed Kilani, claimed to have broken down two fiber samples and extracted their DNA. He found that they belonged to a fungus.

Meanwhile, Vitaly Citovsky, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Stony Brook University in New York, discovered the fibers contained the substance Agrobacterium Tumafaciens, the bacteria causing crown gall disease in plants (formation of tumors in more than 140 species of dicot plants). It is a genus of gram-negative bacteria capable of genetically transforming not only plants, but also other eukaryotic species, including humans.

Anonymous samples were provided to Professor Citovsky by the Morgellon's Research Foundation to use in investigating the potential presence of Agrobacterium Tumafaciens in biopsies from Morgellon's patients. Control reactions included samples provided by healthy donors. Only Morgellons, not healthy subjects, tested positive for the bacterium in these studies.

Professor Citovsky issued a statement saying his observation does not imply that Agrobacterium Tumafaciens causes Morgellons, or that Morgellons is indeed an infectious disease. However, he has called for further study to determine (1) statistical significance of data, (2) whether the bacterium is not only present extracellularly, but also causes genetic transformation of the infected tissues, and (3) whether infection of laboratory animals with the bacterium can recreate symptoms of Morgellons.

Agrobacteerium Tumafaciens is a soil bacterium. Symptoms of grown gall disease are caused by the insertion of a small segment of DNA into the plant cell, which is incorporated at a semi-random location into the plant genome. They are parasitic and detrimental to the plant.

DNA transmission capabilities of Agrobacterium have been extensively exploited by biotechnologists as a means for inserting foreign genes into plants. They discovered the gene transfer mechanism between Agrobacterium and plants, and developed methods to alter Agrobacterium into an efficient delivery system for gene engineering in plants. This is done by cloning the desired gene sequence into the transfer DNA (T-DNA) that will be inserted into the host DNA. Under laboratory conditions the T-DNA has also been transferred to human cells, demonstrating the diversity of insertion application. The mechanism through which Agrobacterium inserts materials into the host cell is very similar to mechanisms used by pathogens to insert materials (usually proteins) into human cells.

For more information:

About the author: Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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Added to Library on March 3, 2009. (56371)


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michelee on

Hi Joni,

I am a Morgellon's Sufferer at my wits end. I admire you and if you read this blog would love to have your insight on how you have handled and possibly cured this disease. I am not a writer or someone who will report back to the media. I am just a person who once had a very normal & happy life until two years ago when stricken with this disease. I will keep all our correspondence confidential as I am just looking for help.

My condition never seems to end day in and day out 24/7. I have lost most all contact with my friends with an exception of two who I treasure for being there during the darkest time of my life. My family has pretty much disowned me which is really sad & hard to handle emotionally since we were always close. I am sure you know the rest of my story so I will not go on & on. It would mean so much to me if you contacted me with some of your insight as I respect & admire you very much.

I can currently be reached at the Homestead Suites, El Segundo CA. Phone 310-607-4000 ext 1418 until Tuesday next week possibly longer. My alternate contact if I have left Homestead would be my father Jim Frontino who resides in Torrance, CA # 310-320-1017. He would be blown away if you contacted him!!! That would make me smile which I have not done very much lately. Actually maybe you should blow him away & contact him first before locating me :) That would make his day/year/life memory :) He has always believed in me yet lately I think he is struggling due to other members of the family's comments and negative input to my illness. If you called him & told him a little of your story it would bring him back all the way. He probably wouldn't believe it was you for a bit.

I am not sure if you read this blog but if you do I sure hope to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Michele Louros

capataz on

Le morgellon est un destructeur.
Je suis Belge mais je vis au Portugal. Voila plus de 7 ans que mon épouse souffre de cette "maladie". Elle a glissée vers un état " borderline" ou de psychose paranoiaque depuis 2 ans et actuellement elle est hospitalisée en psychiatrie en Belgique Nous avons essayé quantités de remédes, rencontré beaucoup de médecins et nous avons été en Inde pour la médecine ayurvédique. Le morgellon peut causer de nombreuses et importantes perturbations mentales. Mais a vrai dire il y a beaucoup de choses étranges dans cette "maladie". Personnellement je crois que les extraterrestres ont affaire avec cela, j'ai fait de très curieuses expériences à ce sujet. Pendant 4 ans nous ne savions absolument pas ce que c'était et nous étions vraiment seul avec cette horreur. Nous avons perdu beaucoup d'amis et rencontré de grandes difficultés familiales. Aujourd'hui je crois que j'ai perdu mon épouse. Tous nos efforts, nos 30 ans de vie commune et l'amour de nos 5 enfants n'auront pas suffi, le morgellon nous a ruiné sentimentalement, moralement et socialement. Je suis chrétien et fier de l'être mais cela aussi n'aura pas suffi...... la prière n'aura pas guéri mon épouse ni moi même , simplement nous sommes encore en vies !
Aujourd'hui il y a de nombreuses pistes de bons remèdes naturels, et de médicaments allopathiques plus efficaces. Il y a moyen de s' en sortir.
Mais un conseil ! Dites vous bien, vous qui en souffrez qu'il s'agit d'un combat pour lequel jamais vous pourrai dire "j'ai gagné ". Toujours il vous faudra rester vigilant avec votre système immunitaire mais aussi avec votre mental, même si vous n' avez plus de symptôme.
Pour ceux que cela intéresse , j' écris notre histoire dans un blog (le blog d'Alfalfa: Merci à Joni et à vous tous. En communion de prières avec vous ! ..

JustJoJo on

Joni, are you aware that Morgellon's is a NASA bioterror experiment gone bad? Or perhaps as planned, which is even more sinister....we need to shed more light on these evil military programs (the HAARP weapons/weather program too) Check all these vids out and spread the word!!
They must be exposed, and stopped:

lorilaingor on

It's amazing to me that Joni, whose music, magic and art have inspired me since the 1960's, turns out to save my life with these articles on Morgellons Disease. I finally figured out what I have been suffering from for over 10 years. As an Acupuncturist and Natural Healthcare Practicioner, I have treated myself for many years for the nasty symptoms that we all share. I am feeling much relief and hope from a combination of: topical products (All-Stop), Far Infrared Sauna (Daily), Raw Food diet, elimination of electromagnetic fieds in my home (no wireless or electrical appliances where I sleep, & grounding/earthing sheets, which I will write about another time).

healinggrapevine on

All I can say to anyone who has morgellons is dont focus on the problem. Focus on the solution. In our desperation we combed the internet for answers and the conspiracy theories exposed a nightmare. Fear does not heal. Only love does. We were blessed to find Dr Hildegarde Staninger. The solution she offers not only healed the morgellons it transformed our health in every way. We all look 10 years younger than when this nightmare began. Now we are on the other side in gratitude we have passionately taken on the project of sharing her knowledge to all who search for the answers as we did. Joni, thank you for being such a beacon of light. All I can do for you is save you time. Your own life force will take care of the rest.

cecarnicom on


You may wish to become familiar with the research that is presented and underway at and at

I will discuss more should you choose to or have interest.


Clifford E Carnicom

PS I have been to about two pop concerts in my life, just so you know, yours was one of them - while visiting in Berkeley CA in times past...

Ms.Uncommonsense on

affliction is strengthening your pH. Get lots of oxygen, think good thoughts, exercise, and pray. Minerals are more important than anything else right now. Stay alkaline. Morgellons a Mundane Approach is a good place to read the blog entries. A few doctors who think outside the box and who also have this disease blog there. It is a great support group always sharing positive treatments. I love the video of the Band and Neil Young and you singing helpless. It is posted at that blog. The song is beautiful--- very apropos for Morgellons sufferers. Feel free to email me if you have any questions regarding treatments. Sincerely, Your friend

Ms.Uncommonsense on

Hi Joni:
The key to cracking this "affliction" is strengthening your pH. Get lots of oxygen, think good thoughts, eat non GMO foods, exercise, and pray. Minerals are more important than anything else right now. Stay alkaline. Morgellons a Mundane Approach is a good place to read the latest blog entries. A few doctors and other professionals who think outside the box and who also have this disease blog there. It is a great support group always sharing positive treatments. I love the video of the Band and Neil Young and you singing helpless. It is posted at that blog. The song is beautiful--- very apropos for Morgellons sufferers. I saw you many years ago, when I see and hear you now, it makes me feel young. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, I think we can help. Sincerely, Your friend

Linda on

Joni, I tried to leave a message but maybe it didn't go thru. I have it too. I have had mine under control for about maybe 2 years. It's not gone, but I am basically fine. If you want to know what I've done you can contact me. (It's mostly alternative medicine.) - Linda Note: (youre in my prayers!)
PS: my symptoms are very small.. if it's new to you don't be scared.. if you follow what I did I know you'll be ok and it starts leaving immediately.. Even if you start today taking alot of salt and vitamin C you'll start getting better by today or tomorrow. I feel good, I really do. (

karenvega on

You will be in my constant thoughts and prayers.Get well soon.

Canoli on

Get well soon Joni.