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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-42

Meningitis and hearing loss during an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis

1 Department of ENT, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Sokoto, Nigeria
2 Department of ENT, Sokoto State Specialist Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
3 Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Stephen Semen Yikawe
Department of ENT, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/indianjotol.INDIANJOTOL_89_19

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Background: A large-scale outbreak of meningococcal meningitis, serotype C, occurred from December 2016 to June 2017 in some states in Nigeria. Meningitis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The most common sequel of this disease is hearing loss. The mechanism could be through spread of infection to the ear via the cochlear duct. Objective: The study objective was to assess the hearing threshold of patients diagnosed with meningitis during an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis in Sokoto. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out on patients diagnosed with meningitis managed at the meningitis emergency response center in Sokoto. A standardized semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain relevant information after which the patients were examined and their hearing thresholds were measured. Results: A total of 72 patients were recruited in the study. Twenty-eight (38.9%) patients had varying degrees of hearing loss. The mean duration of illness was 3.28 ± 2.75 days. The mean duration of illness among patients with hearing loss was 5.32 ± 3.28 days and that among those without hearing loss was 1.98 ± 1.13 years (t = 6.230,P< 0.001). Steroids were administered to forty (55.6%) patients by the managing physician. Out of these, only seven (17.5%) were observed to have hearing loss. Conclusion: Meningitis is a common cause of acquired hearing loss. We observed a prevalence of early hearing loss of 38.9% among our patients. Patients who stayed longer before presenting to the hospital had worse hearing compared with those that presented earlier. We observed that steroid use was beneficial and was associated with reduced prevalence of hearing loss.

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