A Review of Hearing Loss Associated with Zika, Ebola, and Lassa Fever.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

The neglected tropical diseases Zika, Ebola, and Lassa fever (LF) have all been noted to cause some degree of hearing loss (HL). Hearing loss is a chronic disability that can lead to a variety of detrimental effects, including speech and language delays in children, decreased economic productivity in adults, and accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. The objective of this review is to summarize what is known regarding HL secondary to these viruses. Literature for this review was gathered using the PubMed database. Articles were excluded if there were no data of the respective viruses, postinfectious complications, or conditions related to survivorship. A total of 50 articles were included in this review. Fourteen articles discussing Zika virus and subsequent complications were included. Across these studies, 56 (21.2%) of 264 Zika-infected individuals were found to have HL. Twenty-one articles discussing Ebola virus and subsequent complications were included, with 190 (5.7%) of 3,350 Ebola survivors found to have HL. Fifteen additional articles discussing LF and subsequent complications were included. Of 926 individuals with LF, 79 (8.5%) were found to have HL. These results demonstrate a relationship between HL and infection. The true prevalence is likely underestimated, however, because of lack of standardization of reporting and measurement. Future studies of viral sequelae would benefit from including audiometric evaluation. This information is critical to understanding pathophysiology, preventing future cases of this disability, and improving quality of life after survival of infection.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ficenec, SC; Schieffelin, JS; Emmett, SD

Published Date

  • September 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 484 - 490

PubMed ID

  • 31333155

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6726950

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-1645

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9637

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0934


  • eng