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BY JOHN NAISH
Breakthroughs, tips and trends
MEDICAL experts in America are investigating a mystery epidemic with a sci-fi name, Morgellons, after hundreds of people have contacted internet sites claiming that they are suffering from it.
The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has formed a "Morgellons task force) after receiving up to 20 calls a day from "victims) citing a range of alien symptoms, from joint pain to gippy bowels.
Most describe crawling skin, sores, fatigue, "brain fog) and the appearance of small or microscopic fibres under the skin. Mary Leitao, who founded the Morgellons Research Foundation, claims that her son has the illness, and she found the symptoms described as "Morgellons) in a research paper from 1674.
Many doctors dismiss the condition as delusional. Dr Annette Matthews, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health & Science University, calls Morgellons a form of delusional parasitosis, a paranoid fear that creatures are living inside you.
The CDC is "keeping an open mind) on Morgellons. But humankind has a history of odd psychosomatic epidemics, especially at times of social stress. The Industrial Revolution brought us "railway spine), a set of unverifiable pain symptoms, and in the Middle Ages we had the "dancing plagues), where whole villages danced themselves into delirium. Could Morgellons have more to do with global terror?
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This was on Medical Mysteries a coupe nights ago.