Trench Fever is a self-limited infection caused by Bartonella, a rickettsial organism transmitted by body lice, characterized by weakness, fever, rash, and leg pains. It was common during World War I but is now rare. Also called 5-day fever, quintana fever. The age at onset is typically in the mid-teens to the mid-40s. There is no seasonal variation. The annual incidence of B. quintana is 0.46 in 100,000 in the United States.
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. Researchers at Great Ormond Street Hospital have in the past claimed tackling a Trench fever with medicine before it is allowed to run its course, may slow recovery time, because the temperature can help to kill the bacteria causing the illness.