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Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month – September 2023

Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month is observed in September, and we’re here with all the information you need to commemorate this month the right way. Do you know that it has been almost 60 years since Reye’s Syndrome was detected and described? Reye’s Syndrome is an extremely rare condition seen in children recovering from viral infections like chickenpox. It might cause swelling in the brain or the liver. There is no known cure for Reye’s Syndrome other than preventing further complications. Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month was created to raise awareness of this syndrome and help people and their families affected by Reye’s Syndrome in every way possible.

History of Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month

The first case of what might have been Reye’s Syndrome was seen in 1929. However, it was in 1963 when physicians Douglas Reye, Graeme Morgan, and Jim Baral published the first study on the syndrome in “The Lancet,” a medical journal. In the 1970s, George Johnson investigated the case of a few children who had developed disorders in their brains. This was similar to Reye’s Syndrome. Karen Starko and a few other colleagues conducted a case study in 1979 and found out that there might have been a correlation between the use of Aspirin and Reye’s Syndrome.

It was in 1980 when doctors and physicians began educating people about the relation between drugs like Aspirin and disorders like Reye’s Syndrome in children. In 1986, the Food and Drug Administration made it mandatory that all medications which had Aspirin have a label warning against Reye’s Syndrome. From 1980 to 1990, cases of Reye’s Syndrome came down significantly. In 1995, France reported cases of Reye’s Syndrome in children who were exposed to Aspirin. The French Medical Agency immediately issued warnings and called international attention to the relationship between Aspirin and Reye’s Syndrome.

The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation (N.R.S.F.) declared September as Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month. This was initiated to raise awareness of the possible causes of the syndrome, and also to help families affected by it. The N.S.R.F. releases resources like videos and blogs for educating people and helping people deal with the trauma of the syndrome.

Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month timeline

1963
The Study is Published

The case study of Reye's Syndrome is published in “The Lancet'' by Douglas Reye and his team.

1979
A Correlation is Found

Karen Starko finds in a study that there is a correlation between Aspirin usage and Reye's Syndrome.

1995
International Attention is Drawn

France and other countries issue warnings against Aspirin usage and introduce mandates for medications containing Aspirin.

2000s
Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month

Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month is created by the N.R.S.F. to raise awareness of Reye's Syndrome and help families affected by it.

Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month FAQs

At what age is Reye's Syndrome no longer a risk?

Reye’s Syndrome is usually observed in children between the ages of four and 12. However, it can occur at any age.

What organs does Reye's Syndrome affect?

Reye’s Syndrome affects all organs of the body. However, the brain and the liver are most susceptible to damage.

What is the best method to prevent Reye's Syndrome?

The best way to prevent Reye’s Syndrome is by not giving medications that contain Aspirin to children, especially the ones recovering from chickenpox or other viral infections.

How to Observe Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month

  1. Raise awareness

    Reye's Syndrome is extremely rare today. Nonetheless, it is still prevalent and many families are affected by it. Raise awareness about Reye's Syndrome in your community and educate people on what precautions to take to prevent it.

  2. Share it on social media

    Let everyone know the importance of this day. Write articles or share medical information on Reye's Syndrome on your social media page and ask your friends to share them with their circle.

  3. Donate to the cause

    Use this day to do a good deed. There are people with Reye's Syndrome, facing mental and physical trauma. Your donations might help improve their lives.

5 Facts About Aspirin That's Important To Know

  1. It should not be taken by children

    Research has proven that there is a direct correlation between Aspirin use and Reye's Syndrome.

  2. It should not be taken during pregnancy

    Aspirin affects blood clotting and hence should not be taken by pregnant women.

  3. It is found in vegetables

    Aspirin is found in all vegetables that contain benzoic acid.

  4. It is found in Willow trees

    The bark of Willow trees has salicin which is the raw form of Aspirin.

  5. It might prevent cancer

    Some studies are showing decreased risk of cancer with Aspirin usage.

Why Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month is Important

  1. It reminds us of the importance of raising awareness

    Reye's Syndrome is rare and hence, only those people who are affected by it, understand the trauma. It is our responsibility to educate everyone about Reye's Syndrome and how to prevent it.

  2. It gives us a chance to do something

    This month gives us a chance to do something for the people affected by Reye's Syndrome. The donations can help get them the best medical care. It can also help in medical research and ceasing Reye's Syndrome permanently.

  3. It gives us a chance to learn something

    Like any other thing in this world, knowledge is power. If we want to eradicate Reye's Syndrome, we need to equip ourselves with all the knowledge we can get.

Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023September 1Friday
2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
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