Bacterial meningitis affects an estimated 15,000 infants and children in the United States each year. The case-fatality rates for these patients are from 5 percent to 10 percent, as many as 20 percent to 30 percent of survivors have long-term sequelae, the most common of which is hearing impairment.1 The reported incidence of hearing loss after meningitis has ranged from 5 percent, to 20 percent of patients, depending on the selection of patients, techniques used to assess hearing, and etiology.2-5

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