10 Rare Diseases You Have Never Heard Of

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Science has made big advances in medicine to tackle some of the deadliest diseases imaginable. But there are still some diseases out there that have left humans completely puzzled. Some of these diseases affect our body in ways that are completely unexplained or unusual. The European Organization for Rare Diseases defines a rare disease as one with a prevalence of 1 in 2,000 people or less. Here are some rare illnesses you’ve probably never heard of.

Encephalitis Lethargica

This disease was quite terrifying when it hit in the early 1900’s. Suffers from this disease have vivid hallucinations before their bodies seemingly become paralyzed. The victims will appear to be asleep, however still be fully conscious. Few victims die at this stage, however if they don’t, they experience behavioral problems for the remainder of their lives.


Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder in which an unusual amount of methemoglobin (a form of hemoglobin) is produced. Hemoglobin is the red blood cell protein that carries oxygen to your body.

With methemoglobinemia, the protein hemoglobin can carry oxygen but is not able to release it efficiently to your body tissues. The lips of patients are purple, the blood is chocolate colored because it is not oxygenated and the skin looks blue.


Progeria, also called as Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, is a very uncommon, progressive genetic disorder that causes kids to age fast, starting in their first two years of life. Normally, kids with progeria appear normal at birth. Symptoms and signs, such as hair loss and slow growth, start to appear during the first year.

Brainerd Diarrhea

The disease was named after the town where it first was recorded, Brainerd, Minnesota. Individuals afflicted with this disease can experience in excess of 20 episodes of diarrhea each day for up to one year.

Blaschko’s Lines (Skin Stripes)

The lines of Blaschko are often not visible but they appear once a skin disease manifests in the body of the patient. The stripes trace the migration of embryonic cells in the body. These patterns are frequently observed on dogs and cats.

Nodding Syndrome

The deadly and unusual disease called as nodding syndrome affects only kids. The disease begins with the nodding — otherwise normal kids start to nod their heads, pathologically. After that come the seizures. The kids stop talking and stop growing. Finally, the disease wrecks the kids, mentally and physically.

Congenital Analgesia

Congenital Analgesia is characterized by an individual’s inability to feel pain. Children who suffer from this condition frequently get broken bones, wounds and unnoticed bruises since they cannot feel the pain. These health problems and wounds may go on unnoticed which can pose huge health risks later on.

Aquagenic Urticaria

Aquagenic urticaria is also called as water allergy. It is an uncommon condition that causes patients to experience a painful skin reaction if they come in contact with water.


SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the major cause of death among babies one month to one year old. It is also called as crib death because kids will usually die in their sleep. The causes are still not known.

Marburg Virus

Marburg virus was named after the German city where it was first spotted in 1967. It is a hemorrhagic fever virus that is transferred to people from monkeys and causes you to experience serious internal bleeding.