gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Epidemic eye diseases in history

Meeting Abstract

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Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogFR.14.01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Lauer.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Early in 2004 an adenovirus epidemy forced the German army to close several barracks temporarily; soon the epidemy was under control.

More severe problems were caused to the army lead by Napoleon Bonaparte about two hundred years ago in Egypt, where they were confronted with endemical trachoma. Almost the entire troups were infected, which among other reasons forced the French to withdraw their soldiers.

The infection was spread all over Europe by the homecoming and Napoleon's further military activities throughout the continent and caused blindness in thousands of soldiers and civil persons.

Thus an epidemy was created causing a great challenge to the (eye)doctors of the nineteenth century.