Symptoms of Reye's syndrome 

The symptoms of Reye's syndrome usually begin a few days after a child develops a viral infection.

Initial symptoms of Reye's syndrome include:

  • persistent, effortless vomiting
  • listlessness (a lack of interest or enthusiasm)
  • loss of energy
  • drowsiness

As Reye's syndrome progresses, the symptoms may become more severe and wide ranging, and can include:

  • extreme irritability
  • agitation
  • delirium (a severe state of mental confusion and anxiety sometimes associated with hallucinations)
  • coma 

When to seek medical advice

You should always contact your GP if your child:

  • vomits persistently
  • appears unusually drowsy and listless

Although these symptoms will probably not be the result of Reye's syndrome, they still need to be checked by your GP.

If you cannot get hold of your GP, call NHS 111 for advice, or visit the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.


Page last reviewed: 30/10/2012

Next review due: 30/10/2014