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Deafness Associated With Lassa Fever

Leonard P. Rybak, MD, PhD
JAMA. 1990;264(16):2119. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450160089037.
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Viral infections are now being recognized with increasing frequency to be causes of inner ear disorders, including deafness, vertigo, and facial palsy.1 Sudden deafness has been associated with a significant rise in antibody titers directed against adenovirus, parainfluenza, and herpesviruses.2 More recent serological surveys of patients who have idiopathic sudden hearing loss demonstrated seroconversions for antibodies against single or multiple viral agents. The most common viruses implicated were mumps, rubeola (measles), varicella-zoster, cytomegalovirus, and influenza B. It was interesting to note that the incidence of viral seroconversion and sudden hearing loss tracked each other closely, suggesting a relationship between viral infections and idiopathic sudden deafness. Sudden deafness was most prevalent in the spring in Boston during a 3-year study.3 In England, serological studies of patients with sudden deafness revealed that mumps, measles, and herpes zoster were most commonly associated.4 Histopathologic study of temporal bones removed during


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