While each rare disease only affects a small number of people itself, rare diseases as a whole are a serious threat to public health. Learn a little about some diseases that may not get big headlines, but present global problems.
The United States uses the less-than-200,000 definition.
The National Institutes of Health estimates about 6,800 rare diseases.
Many drugs used to treat rare diseases are also called orphan drugs.
Just because they're rare doesn't mean there isn't quite a few of them.
Most rare conditions are caused by a genetic mutation, although environmental factors can also cause or affect rare diseases.
That's a lot of genetic material that can mutate.
That's an extremely long time to live with a anonymous disease.
Devastatingly, medicines that could potentially help or cure rare diseases were denied funding or access because the cost was prohibitive to profit.
A lot more folks were given access to drugs.
A frighteningly low number
Which have the potential to treat 13 million Americans.
The disease causes an extreme startle response and was named because it affected some lumberjacks in Maine and Quebec.
Both cystic fibrosis and Lou Gehrig's are considered rare diseases.
Only 1 percent of cancer diagnoses are ovarian cancer.
PLMT is an extremely painful and rare disorder.
Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) causes or worsens obsessive compulsion or tics in children after a strep infection.
Wandering spleen occurs when the spleen is not held in place by the normal ligaments.
Internal carotid (or blood vessel in the neck) agenesis (a failure for something to develop)
A very rare condition, it affects the fingers, feet and can cause a variety of genital and urinary tract abnormalities.
Unlike a lot of rare diseases, hantavirus is a respiratory disease caused by environmental contact.
Although not everyone with the syndrome presents ocular abnormalities.
No one is certain what causes the syndrome.
Named from Job in the Old Testament, who was tested with boils.
While it is genetic, there is some evidence that copper treatment might improve prognosis.
Named after the shape-changing sea god of Greek mythology.
A non-cancerous tumor at the pituitary gland often causes the excessive growth hormones.
While Marfan is a disorder of the connective tissue, MEN2B is a cancer-causing genetic disorder that causes bone overgrowth.
Cold air or water can cause itchy rash or hives, or even swelling of the throat or tongue.
Progeria causes extremely fast aging that causes premature death in children and teens.
The last day in February every year, the day includes information and presentations to raise the profile of rare diseases and the people who live with them.