A new, mysterious illness, sounds like it comes straight out of The Twilight Zone. It's a rare, skin disorder called Morgellons.

You may be surprised to learn that Texas is second only to California in the number of documented cases of Morgellons.

"It's scary. You're like are these bugs in my skin?" Morgellons patient Cindy Casey said.

If it's sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, you're right.

"It's very, very odd what's happening to these people. They have little blue fibers, and black specks and white threads coming out of their skins," Morgellons & Lyme Disease Expert Ginger Savely said.

But that's literally just the tip of what's bugging these people. Under the skin, those fibers are connected to what appears to be a cluster of fibers or in some instances, parasitic looking organisms. Oh, and did we mention they don't stay still?

"It's movement. It's actually moving, it's almost like they're intertwined with your muscle tissue," Morgellons patient Eric Roberson said.

Health experts don't even know what causes the skin condition.

"We don't know what it is. We don't have any idea if this is a fungal thing or if it's a parasite. Nobody knows," Savely said.

Savely says there does seem to be a significant link between Morgellons and chronic lyme disease.

"It's weird to be so happy about having a chronic disease, but we're just happy to have an answer," Casey said.

Cindy Casey is so happy. She travels all the way from San Francisco to Savely's South Austin office. Carol Arledge from San Angelo, Eric Roberson is from Austin were told they were crazy and in need of psychiatric help.

"I knew I wasn't going crazy because obviously you can see it," Arledge said.

Using a $70 microscope, Cindy's Husband Charles is able to quite literally focus on his wife's ailment.

"When you pay close attention and you see things coming of these people's skin, you know that this isn't delusion, that this is real," Savely said.

Health experts tell KXAN that while Morgellons patients are not cured, their skin conditions almost always improve once they begin receiving treatment for lyme disease.

Uploaded: 12-08-05