Reye Syndrome is an extremely rare, non-contagious disease thought to be
triggered by aspirin use.
The actual origin of the disease is unknown.
Syndrome, occasionally called Reye-Jacobsen's Syndrome, is known to follow any
Two of the most common viral infections it precedes is influenza,
"the flu", and chicken pox.
A now-familiar warning on bottles of aspirin, most
notably Tylenol, is not to give Tylenol to a child who is recovering from the
chicken pox, a fever, or any other viral infection.
The link between aspirin and
Reye's Syndrome and is not fully understood, but all reported cases of Reye's
Syndrome include a child who has received aspirin before infection.
Symptoms of Reye's Syndrome may often be mistook for a recurrence of the flu,
or extreme exhaustion.
These symptoms include vomiting, confusion, lack of
coordination, distorted balance, irritability, a stupor-like state, and a recent
infection from a viral illness.
The symptoms often begin with vomiting and
progress to a stupor and near comatose state. This disease is often found in young
children and infants.
Over sixty percent of reported Reye's Syndrome cases occur
in children under the age of sixteen, with the majority of these cases being in
children under six.
Although less than five percent of Reye's Syndrome cases occur
in people over the age of sixty, the elderly are often the most severely affected,
due to old age and weakening immune systems.
Infants, while hindered by their
young age, can often fight the infections of Reye Syndrome better, for reasons
doctors do not yet fully understand. The severity of Reye's Syndrome is classified