While looking into the CDC’s actual interest in Morgellons, I came across this report from the Duval County Health Department:
The Duval County Health Department Epidemiology Program began to receive phone calls from the public in February 2005 regarding a skin condition called Morgellons Disease recently highlighted in local news reports. DCHD initiated an investigation into the epidemiology of Morgellons Disease in Duval County. Each reported case was documented and investigated, and the feasibility of designing an epidemiologic study was considered.
The following chart represents all of these inquiries which include telephone calls, emails, and written letters. Calls began in February 2005 and DCHD continues to receive sporadic calls. Although there appears to be a cluster of reports around March 3,2005, this is attributed to the airing of Fox News’ coverage of the illness and is not a true cluster of disease.
DCHD Epidemiology consulted a pediatric dermatologist within the health department for his professional opinion. It was concluded that this is a psychological condition that has been mentioned in literature for hundreds of years, and further dermatological research is not practical. DCHD then consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. The reply was the same in that there was no interest to support research into Morgellons disease
I wonder if this is how Morgellons.org somehow got the idea that there was a “team” assigned to investigate Morgellons. Here’s another version of the report, as a FAQ:
Due to high media interest the following personnel were involve with initial research:
Dr. Zaheer, C. Bailey-GOC II, R. Kay-EIS, and R. Alcantara-RN; to this date continued research personnel include: Dr. Zaheer, S. Jones-GOC II, S. Traynor-EIS and R. Alcantara-RN.
The team investigated, and deduced the normal skin conditions, sprinkled with DOP.
[UPDATE: 5/26/2006] After similar reports in May, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services released a brief statement:
No credible medical or public health association has verified the existence or diagnosis of “Morgellons Disease.” The current description of the disease is vague and covers many conditions. Until there is a credible, national standard for the diagnosis of this condition, there is no basis for making it a reportable disease. Concerned individuals should have careful clinical and laboratory investigation of their serious skin irritations, but at this time there is no reason for individuals to panic over unsubstantiated reports of this disease.