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A few people on Lymebusters have problems with their socks:
Thrips are tiny winged insects, around 1mm (1/32th of an inch) long.
So what is the problem with Thrips?
The problem is the assumption, almost the dogma, amongst Morgellons believers, that they all have the same "thing". That there is some new pathogen that they all are infected with that causes all of their symptoms. Any new symptom that someone professes to have gets included in the long list of symptoms that are allowed under Morgellons. Anything too outrageous or unique gets explained as a product of a suppressed immune system. Any mental issues get explained as neurological effects of "this disease".
The problem with that is that they obviously don't all have the same thing. They have a wide range of symptoms. The one thing they supposedly have in common, the fibers, vary as much as the symptoms. On the question of insects - some have them, and some don't. Again, some believers explain this as the insects taking advantage of a compromised immune system. But you can explain anything as the result of a compromised immune system.
The trouble with Thrips is that believers unquestioningly accepted that tiny bugs can be hatched in their adult form directly through your skin, if you have Morgellons. If you have Morgellons almost anything can be accepted, no matter how outrageous. The key thing many Morgellons believers want is "to be believed". By being part of a community that wants to be believed, they support each other, and hence they believe each other, easily glossing over all inconsistencies.
Unfortunately, by believing everyone and everything, some of them abdicate reason, and this gets in the way of them receiving appropriate treatment for their very real health issues.
The recent CNN story on Morgellons (text version) was interesting as it focused on Randy Wymore’s examination of fibers, and actually showed his colleges removing fibers from a patient, and looking at them under a microscope.
This should be interesting. Paula Zahn is doing a story on Morgellons at 5PM Pacific, 8PM Eastern today (Thursday June 22).
If you were registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation about a month ago, then you would have gotten an email from Mary Leitao, in which was stated:
Medical Student Syndrome is an unusual affliction that affects people in medical training. The student reads about a novel disease, and finds they have some symptoms of this disease, and then imagine they have this disease.
One of the problems with discussing Morgellons is that the argument tends to be polarized by the issue of mental illness. Inevitably, the people who believe they have Morgellons ("Morgellons sufferers") will accuse their doctors and other skeptics of explaining away their symptoms with "delusions or parasitosis", or some other mental disorder, and ignoring their physical symptoms.
It has been reported several times that the CDC is forming a "task force" to investigate Morgellons, but I could find no mention of this on the CDC web site, nor did the news stories go into much detail. So I emailed the CDC to see if they could give me the official line on what they are currently doing. I got the following response (dated Thu, 1 June 2006 ):