Warnings against giving children aspirin have led to the virtual disappearance of Reye's syndrome, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although the cause of Reye's syndrome is unknown, it often is preceded by chicken pox, gastroenteritis or an upper respiratory tract infection such as influenza. Studies have shown a strong epidemiologic association between taking aspirin for a viral illness and the subsequent development of Reye's syndrome, an acute illness marked by encephalopathy and fatty degeneration of the liver.

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