20 Feb 2013

International Rare Disease Day: See you on February 28th

Illustration for article: International Rare Disease Day: See you on February 28th
A rare disease affects nearly 30 million people in Europe and 3 million in France. On February 28th, more than 60 countries will be mobilised around a single message: "Rare Disorders without Borders."


The 6th International Rare Disease Day, associated with the AFM Telethon, will be held February 28th 2013 in France and in over 60 countries around the world. Around this time, the global community of rare diseases will be rallying to bring into the spotlight, rare diseases and the millions of people they touch. 

Rare diseases affect nearly 30 million people and 3 million in France. Anyone can be affected even if the patients are mostly children. A “rare disease” affects an average of less than 1 person in 2000. The majority still have no treatment, which is why they are also called “orphan diseases”.

According to specialists, there are between 6,000 and 8,000 rare diseases and 5 new diseases are identified every month. There are many forms of rare diseases: genetic diseases, cancers, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases. These are serious, chronic and progressive diseases.

For the 6th edition of the International Rare Disease Day, the theme is “Rare Disorders without Borders.” Because expertise and information are few and far between, the international cooperation between patients, associations, researchers and countries is crucial in the fight against these diseases.

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