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Today is Rare Disease Day 2018!

Each year, on the last day of February, Rare Disease Day is held to raise awareness of rare diseases. On and around this day hundreds of patient organizations from countries and regions all over the world will hold awareness-raising activities.

A rare disease, also referred to as an orphan disease, is any disorder that affects a small percentage of the population. In the United States, this is defined as any disease that affects less than 200,000 people. This definition was created by Congress in the Orphan Drug Act of 1983.

The theme for 2018 is Research. Rare disease research contributes to the development of diagnostic tools, treatments and cures, as well as improved health and social care for patients and their families.

Rare Disease Day is for everyone - the general public, rare disease patients, their families, carers, healthcare professionals, researchers, companies and politicians. You do not have to be directly affected by a rare disease, everyone can get involved! Spreading the word through social media is a quick and effective way to build excitement. Don't forget to use the following hashtags so your support is linked to the global campaign!

#ShowYourRare #MyRare #RareDiseaseDay

To learn more, please go to

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