Reye's Syndrome is an extremely rare illness. But, don't let the rarity of Reye's disease fool you. It's a very serious illness. Reye's Syndrome illness can affect the brain and liver. It is one of those diseases that attack an already weakened child. Kids recovering from viral infections with already weakened immune systems are usually the ones unlucky enough to acquire Reye's Syndrome. Kids from the ages of four to fourteen are most open to get the illness.
In 1963, an Australian pathologist named R. Douglas Reye discovered the syndrome, hence the name Reye's Syndrome. The illness is still pretty much a mystery, but Reye linked Reye's syndrome to children in the four to fourteen age demographic taking aspirin containing medications during severe viral episodes. It's also been noted that epidemic outbreaks like chicken pox and influenza B are the harbingers of Reye's Syndrome.
This syndrome can vary in severity and duration. Some children will show very light symptoms while others can be hit so hard that they can die within hours. Because of the potential for Reye's Syndrome to be fatal, if you notice the Reye's Syndrome symptoms in your child, you need to get him to a hospital quickly. The earlier you catch the disease, the better chance your child, with help, can fight it off.
Reye's Syndrome can pop up just one day after getting over a viral attack. It can also, however, stay hidden for up to two weeks. Even though the viral infections are quite contagious, Reye's Syndrome is actually not. You do need to be able to spot the symptoms. If your child shows constant vomiting, sleepiness or lethargy (in infants, diarrhea and rapid breathing), get that kid to a doctor.
In later stages, the syndrome manifests itself in the form of severe weakness, seizures, confusion, irrational behavior, or loss of consciousness. There is no cure for Reye's Syndrome, but doctors can get it in check if detected early enough.
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