- 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
- 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
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Phone: 404-718-1199 (Pre-recorded message with voice
- 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
- * 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