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Werner-His disease

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A self-limited rickettsial disease caused by infection with Rickettsia quintana and transmitted to man by the body louse, Pediculus humanus corporis. It is characterized by the sudden onset of headache, hyperesthesia of the skin, pain in the back of the legs, and intermittent fever recurring every 4 to 5 days. It was first recognized in the trenches in Volhynia and is estimated to have affected more than a million people in Russia and other European battlefronts during World War I. It was also a major problem among military personnel in Europe in World War II. It is endemic in Mexico, North Africa, eastern Europe, and parts of Asia.


  • H. Werner:
    Über eine besondere Erkrankung, die er als Fünftagefiber bezeichnet.
    Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1916, 53: 204.
  • W. His, Jr:
    Über eine neue periodische Fiebererkrankung (Febris Wolhynica).
    Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1916, 53: 322-323.

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