(NaturalNews) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is launching an investigation into a still-unexplained collection of symptoms known as Morgellons disease.
The condition known as Morgellons disease is characterized primarily by skin lesions that do not heal, as well as unexplained sensations of crawling, biting or stinging on the skin; the presence of foreign materials, such as fibers, on or under the skin; fatigue; joint pain; memory loss; mental confusion and vision changes.
Because doctors do not know what causes the symptoms, some have questioned whether it is a real physical condition. According to the Morgellons Research Foundation, many Morgellons patients are falsely "diagnosed with a common medical label, Delusions of Parasitosis, the basic tenet being this is a psychiatric illness with the presumption of a purely delusional 'parasite infestation.'"
The CDC investigation will involve patients enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Health Plan who saw medical attention for Morgellons-like symptoms within an 18-month time period. It will also involve cooperation from the Armed Forces Pathology Institute, and is expected to last for at least one year.
Patients involved in the study will undergo thorough examinations of both mental and physical health.
When asked if she believes that Morgellons disease is a real medical condition, lead researcher Michele Pearson said, "What I can tell you is real is the suffering that these patients are experiencing. I cannot characterize this as a syndrome, as a disease. I can tell you it's an unexplained illness."
The Morgellons Research Foundation says that it has identified at least 11,000 families around the world that have at least one member who suffers from Morgellons disease. Executive Director Mary Leitao said that the CDC investigation is an important step toward finding out more about the condition, which she believes is "an infectious disease."