Reye's Syndrome

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reyes Syndrome is a rare but deadly disease that strikes swiftly and can attack any child or adult without warning. Dr. Edward Hill discusses Reyes Syndrome in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Reyes syndrome is a rare but serious disease that affects children 6 to 12 years old. It is related to the use of aspirin in treating viral illnesses. Reyes syndrome primarily targets the brain and liver, causing brain swelling and liver damage. Drowsiness, confusion, seizures, coma and even death may result.

The cause of Reyes syndrome is unknown. However, the disease most often develops in children who have recently had chickenpox or flu and who have also taken medications that contain aspirin.

The most important step you can take to prevent Reyes syndrome is to avoid giving aspirin or products that contain aspirin to anyone younger than 20 years old unless specifically prescribed by a health professional.

Symptoms develop three to seven days after a viral illness starts, and include:

Retching or vomiting


Strange behavior, and


If your child has symptoms of Reyes syndrome, seek medical care immediately. Early treatment increases the chance for full recovery.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.