What can be done to prevent the disease?
Children under the age of 19 should not be given medicines containing aspirin or other salicylates, unless prescribed by the healthcare provider. Parents should read medicine labels carefully and avoid those that list salicylates or salicylic acid. Adolescents should also be taught to read labels. Salicylates are commonly found in the following types of medicines:
pain medicines, both over the counter and by prescription
Acetaminophen is a safe alternative for relief of fever or pain.
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
Children who do not progress beyond stage 1 disease generally have a complete, rapid recovery. Those who progress to stages 4 and 5 may die or develop permanent, severe disabilities including mental retardation. Individuals diagnosed and treated early have a 90% survival rate. Late diagnosis lowers the survival rate to only 10%. Overall, 52% of the people diagnosed with Reye's syndrome die. As a rule, infants have a poorer outcome than older children with Reye's syndrome.
What are the risks to others?
Reye's syndrome is not contagious and poses no risk to others.