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December 16, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;230(11):1497-1506. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240110005003

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Reye syndrome remains deadly unsolved puzzle for clinicians  Reye syndrome is a rare disease, in the sense that very few cases are seen. About 350 cases have been reported to the Center for Disease Control so far this year, most of them from local outbreaks late last winter and spring.In another sense, though, the dangerous pediatric disorder is not uncommon. According to CDC's Lawrence Corey, MD, "Reye syndrome following type B influenza may well be the most common potentially lethal virus-associated encephalopathy within the United States."Although Reye syndrome and local outbreaks of type B influenza hit the same places last spring, the disease can also follow other prodromal viral illnesses. Of the 350 reported cases, 55 followed type B influenza. Twenty-five were apparently sequels to varicella, another 20 to non-upper-respiratory viral infections, and the remainder followed various upper respiratory illnesses.The two largest groups—those associated with "flu