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Rare Disease Day

Posted in General Health 28 Feb, 2014

With OnlineClinic’s continued drive towards providing better healthcare and developing new methods of providing treatments, this blog will take a look at the progress being made in regards to rare diseases that affects millions of sufferers every year.

What is Rare Disease Day?

Established in 2008, Rare Disease Day is an event held on the last day of February every year. The main aim of the day is to raise awareness about a range of rare diseases that are often misunderstood along with raising funds to help improve the development of treatments for these rare and potentially life threatening diseases.

What is a rare disease?

In Europe, a rare disease is defined as a condition that affects less than 1 in 2000 people. Moreover, it is estimated that as many as 30 million people may be suffering from at lease one of the 6000 rare diseases that have been discovered and recorded so far. In addition, it is estimated that 80% of rare diseases have a genetic origin while the remaining 20% is made up of various bacterial and viral infections as well as allergies and environmental causes. Sadly, rare diseases also affect 50% of all children diagnosed with this type of disease.

How dangerous are rare diseases?

Due to the very nature of such diseases being rare, it is often very difficult to establish the effects such rare diseases can have on sufferers. Symptoms can often drastically vary from patient to patient as well as disease-to-disease. Moreover, due to the fact that there so little known about rare diseases and their symptoms, misdiagnoses is often a common occurrence which can further place a patients life at risk from these rare diseases.

What is being done to help raise awareness for rare diseases?

Rare diseases have gained more public attention from campaigns such as Rare Disease Day, which, since its formation in 2008, is continually gaining support and awareness from many organisations and healthcare companies around the world. Moreover, the fact that there is such little cure or treatments available to treat rare diseases illustrates why these campaigns are so fundamental in helping to develop better healthcare for patients that suffer from rare disease. To find out more about rare diseases and the campaign driving awareness to such diseases, you can visit the Rare Disease Day website.

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