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Cochlear implants up meningitis risk

MELBOURNE, April 3 (UPI) -- Cochlear implants to improve hearing also increase the risk of bacterial meningitis, say Australian researchers.

The team, at the University of Melbourne's Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, said vaccination might control the problem.

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In a rodent study they conducted, 36 of 54 animals were implanted with the inner-ear devices and one-third developed meningitis.

However, the study authors said the benefits of cochlear implants far exceed the risk of meningitis, but added that the risk could be managed by education and vaccination efforts.

A report on the research was published in the April edition of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

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