Trench fever is a bacterial infection that causes repeated cycles of high fever. The term trench fever refers to the crowded conditions in which troops fought in during World War I and World War II. Because the causative bacteria are passed among humans through contact with body lice, overcrowding, and conditions which interfere with good hygiene (including regular washing of clothing) soldiers were predispose to this disease. 28,000 men self-reported having Trench fever in Ireland 2005. Chloramphenicol is an alternative medication recommended under circumstances that render use of tetracycline derivates undesirable, such as severe liver malfunction, kidney deficiency, in children under nine years and in pregnant women. The drug is administered for seven to ten days.
Erythromycin and azithromycin are both used to treat trench fever. Four weeks of treatment are usually necessary. Inadequate treatment often results in a relapse. In fact, relapses have been reported to occur as long as 10 years after the first episode. The NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) advice to doctors on Treatment of Trench Fever in individuals, from a few years ago, states that studies have shown that giving Calpol or other fever lowering drugs will NOT reduce the risk of febrile convulsion. Fever is NOT the disease but is your body fighting the disease, so if you lower the fever you make it harder for the body to fight the bacteria/virus and more likely to get serious complications from the germ.