OAKLAND -- KTVU Channel 2 has learned the federal Centers for Disease Control has asked Kaiser Permanente t...
OAKLAND -- KTVU Channel 2 has learned the federal Centers for Disease Control has asked Kaiser Permanente to begin the nation’s first epidemiologic study of "Morgellons Disease," a mysterious ailment that the government terms an "unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern."
KTVU Health and Science Editor John Fowler was the first in the nation to report on this “mystery disease” as it was called in 2004. He reported the skin disorder seemed to cause fibers and filaments to emerge from the skin of sufferers, and also seemed to cause neurological problems patients described as "brain fog."
John followed up with other reports, and founders of a non-profit group hoping to help sufferers understand the disease named it Morgellons. As of February this year, the Morgellons Research Foundation has identified more than ten thousand families nationwide. John profiled former A’s pitcher Billy Koch who says both he and his wife have symptoms.
KTVU has obtained a federal Request for Quotation, delivered to Kaiser Permanente, that says the CDC now wants its nationwide study to be focused in the Bay Area because 24% of Morgellons patients "reside in California with geographic clustering in the San Francisco metropolitan area."
Federal doctors now want Kaiser Permanente to conduct an urgent epidemiologic investigation with results due by next May "...to better characterize the clinical and epidemiologic features of this condition; to generate hypotheses about factors that may cause or contribute to sufferers' symptoms; and to estimate the prevalence of the condition in the population; and to provide information to guide public health recommendations."
The CDC for the first time publicly says Morgellons is "an emerging public health problem."
POSTED: 5:41 pm PDT August 2, 2007
UPDATED: 10:22 am PDT August 4, 2007