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Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 1;42(1):e6-8. Epub 2005 Nov 29.

Acute hearing loss due to scrub typhus: a forgotten complication of a reemerging disease.

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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.


We describe 6 patients with scrub typhus who presented with acute hearing loss, a forgotten complication of this reemerging disease. They were admitted with fever of 10-14 days' duration and had clinical evidence of deafness and pneumonitis. Five patients had eschars, which prompted the diagnosis of typhus fever and led to early institution of treatment. Deafness has been described as a clue to the diagnosis of scrub typhus; awareness of this symptom facilitated early diagnosis in 4 of 5 patients who recovered. Acute hearing loss or hearing impairment in a febrile patient should arouse strong suspicion of scrub typhus.

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