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CDC - Unexplained
Dermopathy (aka 'Morgellons')

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received an increased number of inquiries regarding an unexplained skin condition that some refer to as "Morgellons." Persons who suffer from this unexplained skin condition report a range of cutaneous (skin) symptoms, including crawling, biting, and stinging sensations; granules, threads, or black speck-like materials on or beneath the skin; and/or skin lesions (e.g., rashes or sores). In addition to skin manifestations, some sufferers also report fatigue, mental confusion, short term memory loss, joint pain, and changes in vision.
The etiology of this condition is unknown, and the medical community has insufficient information to determine whether persons who identify themselves as having this condition have a common cause for their symptoms or share common risk factors.
To assist in learning more about this condition, CDC plans to conduct an epidemiologic investigation and has convened a multidisciplinary working group to provide guidance on the design of the investigation. The goals of the investigation are to better characterize the clinical and epidemiologic features of this condition and to generate hypotheses about factors that may cause or contribute to sufferers' symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to frequently asked questions, click on the link below.
I am (or my family member is) suffering from this skin condition ­ what should I do?
Persons who believe they may suffer from this condition should contact a healthcare provider for evaluation and medical care. CDC cannot provide clinical care or consultation to patients.
Is this condition contagious?
The factors associated with acquiring this condition are unknown; at this time, there is insufficient information to determine whether or not this condition is contagious.
How do I find a physician?
CDC is a public health institution that is a part of the federal government. CDC does not maintain a referral list of providers and cannot refer patients to specific health care providers. However, you may be able to identify an appropriate physician in your area by using online physician locators that have been established by professional medical societies, such as the American Medical Association or the American Academy of Dermatology.
What is the status of CDC's planned investigation?
CDC is working with public health and other medical professionals to identify potential sites for the epidemiologic investigation. CDC also is working with task force members to develop a scientific protocol, including an initial screening case definition for the epidemiologic investigation. The working group consists of experts in chronic diseases, dermatology, environmental health, epidemiology, infectious diseases, mental health, and pathology. Given the complexity of this condition, a carefully designed and thorough scientific approach offers the best chance for finding useful answers.
How can I participate in the research investigation?
Not all people who identify themselves as having signs or symptoms of this unexplained skin condition will be able to participate in the epidemiologic investigation. Scientific criteria, which include geographic location and type of symptoms, will be used to identify and select persons who are eligible to participate in the investigation.
I have more questions; whom can I contact?
Inquiries regarding this condition can be sent to:
E-mail: morgellonssyndrome@cdc.gov or
Phone: 404-718-1199 (Pre-recorded message with voice mail)
At this time, we are not able to provide individual responses to each inquiry, but our public inquiry e-mail and phone line are regularly checked. Answers to frequently asked questions will be posted to this web site, and this web site will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.
Content Source: National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED)
Page last modified: June 12, 2007



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