Mumps is the most common cause of unilateral acquired sensorineural hearing loss in children. Although it usually affects the salivary glands, the inner ear may be involved. Deafness is usually unilateral, sudden in onset, profound and permanent. Bilateral total sensorineural hearing loss had been rarely reported in English literature. We present a case of total deafness due to asymptomatic mumps infection. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.