1 in 5 Kids With Cold Develops Middle Ear Infection:
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- About one in five
children with a cold or other respiratory viral infection develops
a middle ear infection that may range from mild to severe, says a
U.S. researchers looked at the number of cases of middle ear
infection -- acute otitis media -- among 294 children, ages 6
months to 3 years. Overall, 22 percent of the children developed a
middle ear infection during the first week of respiratory
A diagnosis of acute otitis media was based on the presence of
symptoms such as fever and earache, plus inflammation of the
eardrum and fluid in the middle ear. Along with the 22 percent of
children who developed the ear infection, another 7 percent had
inflammation of the eardrum without fluid in the middle ear.
Among the children with the middle ear infection, eardrum
inflammation was rated mild in 8 percent, moderate in 59 percent
and severe in 35 percent. Of the 126 children who had the infection
in both ears, the infection was more pronounced in one ear in 54
percent of the cases.
In general, children with the infection were treated without
antibiotics whenever possible. Of the 28 children with mild middle
ear infection, 24 improved without antibiotics, four got worse and
three of them eventually required antibiotics.
The study appears in the February issue of
The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
The findings suggest that many children with mild middle ear
infections can be managed without antibiotics, said lead author Dr.
Stella U. Kalu, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston,
and colleagues, in a journal news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders has more about
ear infections in children.
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