Otitis media is an infection inside the ear caused by a bacteria. Occuring mainly in children often after catching a cold, otitis media can cause earache and temporary deafness. Sometimes treatment with antibiotics is needed. Severe recurrent infections can permanently damage the hearing mechanism. Sometimes infection gets into the nearby bone (mastoiditis) and occassionally this is a cause of meningitis, which can be fatal.
Otitis media caused 0.0063% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 1 death per million people per year.