Trench fever, a rare condition, found among Denver homeless

Colorado News

DENVER (AP) — Public health officials in Colorado are investigating at least three cases of a rare condition called trench fever identified among homeless people in the Denver area.

Trench fever is transmitted by body lice, and it’s a condition that plagued soldiers during World War I. Trench fever is characterized by relapsing fever, bone pain, headache, nausea, vomiting and malaise. Some of those infected can develop skin lesions or a life-threatening infection of their heart valves. Outbreaks have occurred in recent years in San Francisco and Seattle homeless camps. Trench fever can be treated with antibiotics and by killing body lice. 

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