A PECULIAR, frequently fatal syndrome in children, thought somehow to be related to viral infection, has recently been reported from Australia.1 Characteristically, a mild illness with respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms of three to five days duration terminates in a 24-hour period of acute cerebral deterioration with disorientation, convulsions, and coma. The major postmortem findings are fatty liver and cerebral edema.An 8-year-old child with such a fatal illness was observed at Danbury Hospital in October 1963. Shortly thereafter, a similar nonfatal illness was observed in a younger sibling. Three other fatalities with similar clinical and autopsy features occurred in a neighboring state within a few weeks of our own case. It is our purpose to alert readers to the possible occurrence of the Reye syndrome in the United States.
Report of a Case
EA, an 8-year-old white boy, was admitted to the Danbury Hospital on Nov 8, 1963