Rare Disease Day 2012 is tomorrow, the 29th February, and I hope you're all as excited as I am. Yay, diseases!
The definition of a rare disease in Europe is a disease with an incidence of fewer than one in two thousand people. There are thousands of rare diseases, and although each disease is individually rare, taken collectively rare diseases affect 6% of people in Europe and account for 20% of healthcare costs. Rare Disease Day aims to raise awareness of the problem of rare diseases, and the fact that research into treatment of these kinds of diseases tends to be significantly underfunded.
For more information, check out the Rare Disease Day 2012 website, or infect yourself with an unusual pathogen!