Morgellons Disease and Parasites
Microfilaria of Wuchereria bancrofti from a patient seen in Haiti. Thick blood smears stained with hematoxylin. (CDC)
Microfilaria of Brugia malayi. Thick blood smear, hematoxylin stain. (CDC)
One cause of Morgellons disease is believed to be parasites according to many patients with this syndrome cluster. They "feel" the organisms in their skin moving.
Physician's and Parasite Education
When I was going to medical school I think we were taught about 5-9 parasites over 60-120 minutes. I do not fault them because folks think doctors should learn everything in health, and there is only so much time.
However, as I look at my wall of infection books and see the parasite section, it amazes me how many diverse parasites live in the world and how they are easier to get then I ever imagined.
CDC and Red Cross: Parasites in USA Blood Supply
After years of delays, the Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved a test for a fatal parasitic infection that is common in Latin America and increasingly prevalent in the United States blood supply.
"The 100,000 figure is a rough estimate, but we really don't know," said Dr. James H. Maguire, a former chief of the parasitic diseases branch at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Most people don't know they're infected [with Chagas infection]."
Discovering new cases will pose a quandary for doctors and patients: there is not yet any official C.D.C. guidance on what to tell people who are infected but appear healthy. (www.nytimes.com/2006/12/14/health/policy/14parasite.html)
The notion that parasites impact the skin and underlying layers should not be a surprise. From scabies to lice to Leishmania major we see mild to massive skin damage. Leishmania major is spread by a fly and causes disfiguring skin lesions. Approximately 12 million are infected in Latin America and Middle East. Tens of thousands die from various strains. www.ocregister.com/ocr/sections/news/focus_health/article_598004.php
Hundreds of Human Parasites and Sample Frequencies
Growing up many children in advanced countries were familiar with the parasitic pinworm, which in some countries has infected a majority of children or adults. When I was growing up my friends and I searched for frogs and other "critters" in ponds that were beyond biological danger areas.
But looking globally, in summary, 1.5 billion people have roundworms, making it the third most common human infection in the world. Whipworm infects 1 billion people and more than 1 billion people carry hookworm in their gut, and 265 million people are infected with schistosomes. (United Nations Children's Fund. The State of the World's Children 1998)
Morgellons and Parasites
A family gets lice, takes a treatment, and they get better. Someone is found to have a parasitic infection, usually only because they are identified as "returning from a high risk area." And they get better.
Why does a Morgellons patient not get better with anti-parasitic agents immediately? Usually, it is because any possible parasitic exposure is just one of a number of things that cause the presentation of Morgellons disease. When we do an intake with someone with this illness, we do not find that they have one problem. And that is where it is important to prioritize and chip away at the troubles with the most serious first.
In Hopes You Find the Help You Need!