10 Symptoms of Reye’s Syndrome

Reye’s syndrome is an extremely rare disorder, affecting fewer than one thousand cases in the united states per year. It is mainly seen in children and teenagers who are recovering from viral infections like influenza or chicken pox. Reye’s syndrome causes swelling in the liver and brain which can result in death. Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome and should be avoided in children who are recovering from any type of virus. Aspirin does not cause Reye’s syndrome by itself, instead it seems to cause a rection in patient’s recovering from a viral infection. This is why aspirin should be avoided in children unless directed to take by a doctor. Due to the increased education about aspirin and childhood illnesses like chickenpox, the rate of Reye’s syndrome has dropped dramatically over the last few decades.

10 Symptoms of Reye's Syndrome

Reye’s syndrome typically begins within a week after a patient is recovering from a previous viral infection. If treatment is begun quickly, the prognosis is good for most patients. Death is a serious risk of Reye’s syndrome as is long-term brain damage. Treatment for Reye’s syndrome includes giving fluids containing sugars and salts intravenously, giving medications to reduce swelling in the brain and treat issues caused by liver failure, and sometimes inserting a tube to help a patient breathe.

1. Fever

Fever does not typically accompany Reye’s syndrome. The lack of fever when other symptoms are present is a red flag. Typically when symptoms like lethargy, excessive sleepiness, headache, and digestive issues are present with other illnesses, raised body temperature is also occurring. For example, meningitis can cause swelling in the brain but is usually accompanied by a high body temperature.

Physician’s will notice this lack of fever when making a diagnosis of Reye’s syndrome. A high body temperature is one of the body’s defenses against bacteria and viruses. The body raises its temperature because most bacteria and viruses cannot thrive in warmer environments. Reye’s syndrome is a collection of symptoms and not the effect of a bacteria or virus. This may be why the body does not produce a fever when these symptoms begin occurring.