Morgellons is a disease that some regard as not a disease at all, yet it is a condition / disease that affects over 12000 people “in every continent except Antarctica” (families who have contacted the Morgellons Research Foundation) . People complain of fibres that protrude from the skin that cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.
Thousands wrote to the US congress demanding action and in response (2006) the “Centres for Disease Control and Prevention” funded research into the condition.
The twist comes in that the array of experts consulted by many patients believe the suffers to be experiencing delusions of parasitosis (DOP), a psychiatric condition in which those suffering falsely believe themselves to be infested. This is unique in that its believed the symptoms are spreading through the internet.
Those suffering from the condition do not agree, many go around with alcohol hand gel, have multiple showers each day and steam dry their clothes in the belief that they have some form of parasitic infection. Studies of the fibres show that they do not burn in temperatures in excess of 600C nor do the fibres carry any of the 85,000 known organic compounds.
We teach students explainable facts of scientifically determined phenomena. We teach how medical practices at the end of the nineteenth century were shaped with the discovery of bacteria. It is perhaps worth remembering that we are still learning.