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Bed Bugs | Morgellons – A Mundane Approach

by simmons ·

The biggest bedbug outbreak since World War II has officialsworried.

Dont worry, Im not going to turn my blog into yet another blog that posts all kinds of news stories. However this one, which has been simmering for a long time, offers some interesting insight into our condition. In the story below I have highlighted certain things that I will expand upon after you read the story (read the whole story, it is pretty frightening actually). My point is NOT TO IMPLY that bed bugs are involved in Morgellons, what is interesting here is the effect the bed bugs have on those they are plaguing. This is an extremely well written article.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090515/sc_mcclatchy/3234191_1

WASHINGTON The biggest bedbug outbreak since World War II has sent a collective shudder among apartment dwellers, college students and business travelers across the nation.

The bugs reddish brown, flat and about the size of a grain of rice suck human blood. They resist many pesticides and spread quickly in certain mattress-heavy buildings, such as hotels, dormitories and apartment complexes.

Two shelters have closed temporarily in Charlotte, N.C. , because of bedbugs, a Yahoo chat group dedicates itself to sufferers and countless bedbug blogs provide forums for news, tips and commiseration. State inspectors say that more emphasis may be needed to tackle the creatures.

Federal officials have taken notice of the resurgence. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency held its first-ever bedbug summit, and now a North Carolina congressman wants to take on the insect.

Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield just introduced legislation that would authorize $50 million thats already in the Department of Commerce budget to train health inspectors how to recognize signs of the insects.

The Dont Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009 also would require public housing agencies to submit bedbug inspection plans to the federal government. It would add bedbugs to a rodent and cockroach program in the Department of Health and Human Services. It also would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research bedbugs impact on public mental health.

Butterfields letter to congressional colleagues about the legislation attracted lots of attention: It was topped with a full-color picture of the insect sitting on human skin.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the United States has seen a resurgence in bedbugs, the letter reads. Thats right theyre back in the sack and biting.

Bedbugs have hit hotels and homes in every state. The creatures are amazing hitchhikers, experts say, and easily travel in suitcases, boxes or packages. They can live for up to a year without food.

Apparently no state has a central reporting system for bedbugs, according to Butterfields office, and since the bug carries no known diseases, many health departments dont consider it a public health threat.

That leaves the critters falling through the cracks among regulators, said Michael Potter , an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and one of the countrys bedbug experts.

Most health departments say, Hey, we dont deal with bedbugs, Potter said.

Those whove suffered outbreaks say that the anxiety it induces can be debilitating. Potter said many sufferers tossed out furniture and could spend thousands of dollars on repeated treatments from pesticide companies. They call him about anxiety, insomnia, shame and the incessant annoyance of itchy red welts on their skin.

Theyre, like, ready to blow their brains out, Potter said. Its emotionally distressing. Anyone that has never had a bedbug problem is not one to judge whether were dealing with a medical, emotional public health issue.

In Congress , Butterfield first introduced his bill a year ago after hearing from a constituent whod brought bedbugs into her home from a hotel trip. The bill died in committee last year, but Butterfield aides say they hope that higher attention will help the measure this year.

The co-sponsors include Reps. Don Young , R- Alaska , Ben Chandler , D- Ky. , Bobby L. Rush , D- Ill. , Betty McCollum , D- Minn. , Corrine Brown , D- Fla. , Steve Cohen , D- Tenn. , Brad Miller , D- N.C. , and Eddie Bernice Johnson , D- Texas .

Butterfield also has received support from the National Pest Management Association , which says that bedbug calls to pest control companies are up 70 percent in the past five years.

Greg Baumann , a Raleigh, N.C. , pest control expert and the vice president of technical services for the National Pest Management Association , said that a decade ago few pest control companies dealt routinely with bedbugs.

Now its everyone today, he said.

Baumann said companies could use pesticides on the bugs but that they also tried such alternatives as extreme heat, freezing and isolating the insects through mattress covers.

Since the EPA restricted the use of several effective pesticides in the 1980s, bedbugs have built resistance to the chemicals that now are on the market, said Potter, the University of Kentucky entomologist. Public education is important, he said, but the industry also needs a good insecticide.

Whether that bill is going to solve the problem certainly its a start, he said.

Interesting isnt it? The Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009 would require the CDC to study the impact of bed bugs on ones mental health. Why would that be? How strange a request, or is it? Listen to some of the descriptions those with a known infestation have (note, bed bugs to not live on ones body). People with bed bugs infestations suffer extreme anxiety to the point of being debilitating, insomnia, shame, tossing out furniture, and even wanting to as it says to Blow their brains out. I dont for a moment believe the comment that bed bugs dont carry disease though, any creature that feeds on blood spreads disease. However, and I must say this quote in its entirety floored me.

Theyre, like, ready to blow their brains out, Potter said. Its emotionally distressing. Anyone that has never had a bedbug problem is not one to judge whether were dealing with a medical, emotional public health issue.

Let me repeat this Anyone that has never had a bedbug problem is not one to judge whether were dealing with a medical, emotional public health issue.

If you are not a Morgellons sufferer let me ask you a personal favor and withhold your judgment on us for now. In fact, be glad your Morgellons free but dont for a moment take for granted that you will always be. Take a moment and think about what this article is saying about these folks that have a known problem with bed bugs. Now consider that a Morgellons sufferer feels these things under their skin and they are also terribly ill on top of it. Throw in a unknown cause, the fact that many on the forums we have known and loved have died, the fact that there is no known treatment, and finally that we are mocked by the very doctors sworn to help us and you have something far worse on ones mental health than merely having bed bugs. The truth is having a parasitical infestation (or something that feels like one Im not convinced Morgellons is a parasite at all) is incredibly scary at first, some never get over it and go over the edge, others simply cannot deal with it.

So, take a hard look at how having bed bugs is impacting those who have them. The truth is, you simply cannot fathom what it is we deal with, it cannot be explained such that one can truly ever really grasp the horror, and my hope is, you never have to know that horror. For those with bed bugs, my heart goes out to you.

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Bed Bugs | Morgellons - A Mundane Approach

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