Morgellans: Illness Or Medical Mystery?

“I got really bad itching, scratching and my left arm became numb,” said Richard Vigil. “I would ask my wife, Sally, ‘is there bugs biting me? Do we have bugs in the bed?'”

That was just the beginning for Vigil, a San Diego County resident.

Soon, his symptoms became worse and even more bizarre.

Vigil said, “I had fibers that came out of my arm. There would be fibers of all different colors combined together like a big knot or clump."

The fibers, Vigil said, looked much like fibers found on clothing.

"I would bathe with a brush and I would see and pull the fibers," said Vigil.

He said the symptoms are of a rare disease called Morgellans.

Patients with the disease complain of severe itching, open sores and tiny fibers erupting from their skin.

For Oklahoma researcher Randy Wymore, the reason why the disease is still considered a mystery may be due to a parasite.

Wymore is confident the multi-colored fibers did not come from clothing.

10News caught up with Carmel Valley dermatologist Dr. Victor Ross, who said this disease is not infectious but a mental one.

"The diagnosis of delusion is fixed false belief, that's the definition, and these patients really have a belief that something they found around them is causing this itching," said Ross.

Ross said patients have come to him before with jars full of things.

“Sometimes dead worms and tapes, and dead bugs from who knows where,” said Ross.

Patients have claimed there are bugs causing them to itch.

Ross said it is a mental disorder that overpowers patients. The reason for that is a mystery, much like Morgellans.

Meanwhile, some doctors swear these symptoms should not be overlooked, as it could be the beginning of something else.

Delusion or disease, the argument is still up in the air.

Some doctors said Morgellons might be connected in some way to Lyme disease.

In fact, Vigil was diagnosed with Lyme disease about 16 years ago.

For the past two years, Vigil said he has been taking an antibiotic and an antifungal medicine that has helped heal his sores.

More information on Morgellons can be found here.

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