Lassa Fever Induced Hearing Loss: The Neglected Disability of Hemorrhagic Fever.
OBJECTIVE: Lassa fever (LF) a hemorrhagic fever endemic to Western has an incidence of approximately 500,000 cases per year. Here, we evaluate hearing loss and other sequelae following LF. METHODS: This case-control study enrolled laboratory confirmed LF survivors, non-LF Febrile controls and Matched Community controls with no history of LF or recent hospitalization for a febrile illness. Study participants completed a symptom questionnaire. Pure-tone audiometry was completed by a subset of participants. RESULTS: One hundred forty-seven subjects were enrolled aged from 3-66 years (mean = 23.3). LF survivors were significantly more likely to report balance difficulties (55% vs 20%, p < 0.001), hair loss (32% vs 7%, p < 0.001), difficulty speaking (19% vs 1%, p < 0.001), social isolation (50% vs 0%, p < 0.001), and hearing loss (17% vs 1%, p = 0.002) in comparison to Matched-Community Controls. Similar trends were noted in comparison to Febrile Controls, although these findings were non-significant. Fifty subjects completed audiometry. Audiometry found that LF survivors had significantly more bilateral hearing loss in comparison to Matched-Community Controls (30% vs 4%, p = 0.029). CONCLUSION: This study characterizes the sequelae of LF and highlights the need for increased access to hearing care in West Africa.
Ficenec, SC; Percak, J; Arguello, S; Bays, A; Goba, A; Gbakie, M; Shaffer, JG; Emmett, SD; Schieffelin, JS; Bausch, D
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)